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TPD Union: "We're losing 10 officers a month"

TPOA sends daily FB posts on impact of TPD staffing shortage
TPOA posts FB messages about impact of TPD staffing shortage
Posted at 1:34 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 18:54:31-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's a Social Media strategy to inform and generate community response on the impact of the current staffing shortage.

The Tucson Police Officer's Association is now sending out FB posts daily on slow response times.

They've already posted stats on burglaries and domestic violence.

On Monday, TPOA revealed that over the past year, more than 2,000 calls have had delayed response times.

Domestic Violence Response Times
1,500 — more than 4 hours
472 — more than 8 hours
300 — more than 12 hours
Longest wait time was 23 hours.

“I think we all agree, I completely support the concept of people's voices being heard in their government and I think people need to know the challenges that we're facing,” said Sgt. Don Jorgenson, president of TPOA.

Jorgenson said the ongoing staffing shortage has now reached a critical stage. TPD is losing officers to neighboring higher paying agencies a lot faster than they can bring in recruits. It takes several months to train them.

RELATED: TPD Staffing Crisis: Patrols won't respond to certain calls for help. Chief Chris Magnus outlines changes in an internal memo to staff.

Conservatively, we've been averaging about 10 officers leaving a month,” said Jorgenson, “You're talking with an academy class in that 8 months we're going to put out 14 recruits, but we're going to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 officers so we're constantly at a net loss and that's not sustainable or safe or okay for the public.”

So TPD will continue their Facebook posts over the next two weeks in hopes the community at large will become part of the conversation.

“Every single day you're going to see something that comes out that has some of those numbers that have to deal with sexual assaults, thefts, vehicles collisions, so I think those numbers will be interesting,” said Jorgensen.

TPOA is hoping the public will reach out to their area council member to voice their opinions.

The city is also hosting 4 budget town halls this month. A Public Safety hearing is scheduled in three weeks.