APD Chief's goal to fill staff by year end - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

APD Chief's goal to fill staff by year end

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Chief John Proctor says his goal is to have the Albany Police Department fully staffed by the end of the year, but he says he is not going to just hire anybody to fill the force.

Currently the Albany Police are 43 officers under their authorized staff, and three officers short of staffing the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit.

Chief John Proctor is in his 10th month Chief of APD, and in a diplomatic way he said one reason the department is understaffed is because he ran off a bunch of officers he didn't want working for him. Now he says he is rebuilding with people that he trusts to do a better job.

Chief John Proctor said he was brought on board to shake up the Albany Police Department.

Proctor said "I inherited an organization that was severely broken down."

Chief John Proctor said when he took over the Albany Police Department, they had 25 officer vacancies. Now there are 43, because he has fired 13 people and accepted 15 resignations.

Proctor said "We had some people that intentionally did things that brought discredit to the organization, and to this city. It is time for that to change."

Proctor says APD is also top heavy, with too many Sergeants and Lieutenants. He wants to eliminate so many supervisors, and put more patrol officers on the street.

 Proctor said "If I have to have administrators to answer calls, we will get the job done."

The Chief says he has offered jobs to 20 people, and hopes to have them on board in April. Most will still need about 5 months of training before they hit the streets. He wants to offer three thousand dollar incentives to certified, experienced officers. APD now has a three person recruitment department dedicated to hiring officers that Proctor says he will approve of,  and he will not accept mediocrity.

Proctor said "This may be their first job. I would prefer to have someone that has life experience. Some prior military. Someone who has done commercial work."

Chief Proctor's goal is to have the 43 vacancies filled by the end of the year.   But he asks the community to have patience, saying APD did not get in bad shape overnight, and it can't be fixed overnight.

Chief Proctor said other plans to improve productivity, through better technology and organization for the officers. He says they waste too much time filling out antiquated reports and records.

A starting Albany Police Officer with no experience earns a little more than $33,000 a year.

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