SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Police Department wants $11.6 million annually through fiscal year 2018 to restore services lost to budget cuts during the city's financial crisis, according to a report scheduled to be presented Wednesday to the City Council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.
The funding would allow the SDPD to hire 158 sworn officers and 100 civilian staff, purchase vehicles and equipment, replace outdated gear, restore a dozen canine teams and add three more, and allow the patrol helicopter to fly more, according to the report.
An extra $8 million would be required in fiscal year 2017 to pay for a new computer-aided dispatch system.
The benefits of the restorations would include faster response times, more proactive crime-fighting by officers and a reduction of overtime expenses, according to the department report.
The report shows that SDPD had 1,969 budgeted positions for officers in the recently completed fiscal year, compared to 2,108 in 2007. However, there were only 1,821 officers actually on the force, compared to 1,912 five years ago.
The SDPD reported that it is unable to keep up with the high rate of officers leaving for other law enforcement agencies, even with four academies scheduled in the current fiscal year.
The report notes that violent crime is up by 12.6 percent in the first five months of 2012 in San Diego, a city of more than 1.3 million inhabitants, compared to last year. There was one less homicide in San Diego between January and May of this year compared to the same time in 2011, but crimes like rape, robbery and aggravated assault are each up by double-digit percentages.
In the first five months of this year, there have been 20 homicides, 147 rapes, 623 robberies and 1,491 aggravated assaults in the city of San Diego.
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