Chula Vista Police making push for more officers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista Police making push for more officers

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CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) - The City of Chula Vista is making a push to hire more officers as the city's population continues to steadily grow and the police department said it does not have enough officers to keep pace.

The Chula Vista Police Department said the city keeps growing, but it has a cop shortage - only 232 sworn officers - the lowest staffing in the county.

A public safety staffing report showed that crime rates remain low, but the police department wants to add 43 officers to the force to get out of having the lowest police staffing in the county.

During a ride-along on Monday night, acting Sgt. Mark Meredith said there were only eleven officers on the swing watch - eleven officers in a city with a population of nearly 268,000.

"For many years we have been able to do a good job with what we have, but as the city continues to grow, it's going to continue to put more and more strain on our resources," said Sgt. Meredith.

One of the consequences of the staff shortage has been longer response times than the national average.

While Chula Vista Police remain efficient with tools, technology and has been creative on restructuring, the department said with its current staffing they will not be able maintain the level of service that is expected of them.

"It needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible," said Sgt. Meredith.

The police chief told News 8 they have ten vacancies currently and are offering up to a $10,000 lateral incentive for officers they hire from other departments.

The public safety staffing report will be presented to the City Council Tuesday night. It will include, not only asking to hire more police officers, but firefighters as well.

Some of the footage in this video story was shot using a GoPro camera.

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