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Overtime continues to be the solution for APD vacancies

Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

At the Jan. 7 meeting of the Public Safety Commission, Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Troy Gay gave his customary monthly stats, and the thing that was remarkable was that not much has changed. Despite APD’s continued hiring push, the department continues to find itself lacking men and women to fill the ranks. Currently there are 110 vacancies, and the next class with a chance to fill those gaps will graduate from the police academy in May. Only 67 cadets remain in the class, said Gay. Following the completion of that training class, there will be one other in 2019 to help fill in the rank-and-file police officers. As a result of the lack of officers, Gay said that overtime spending for the quarter is “a little bit over.” He reported that 37 percent of the overtime budget was spent in the first quarter; typically APD aims to spend 25 percent. Also, Gay hypothesized that the shortage of manpower is the cause that has led to increasing response times since May 2018. The city target for response times is 6 minutes and 44 seconds after a call, but more recent numbers are showing responses in the 7-8 minute range.

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