Chula Vista police asks city for more officers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista police asks city for more officers

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CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) - The Chula Vista Police Department is dealing with a serious staffing shortage as the city's population grows, and on Tuesday night made a plea in front of the City Council to hire more officers. 

Higher priority calls are swamping the police force, causing slower response times in Chula Vista - a city that has grown 25 percent in population since the recession to a near 268,000 residents.

Last week, when a Chula Vista police officer was ambushed and stabbed in the face, it took an officer an hour to respond to the original lower priority call of a neighbor disturbance while 43 calls were holding. 

The Chula Vista Fire Department echoed the same concern. They too, have the lowest staffing in the county as well as in the state - causing slower response times. 

While Chula Vista Police remains 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.

During Tuesday night's City Council meeting, the 64 page public safety staffing report called on an additional 48 firefighters - including four on each engine. The report called on hiring 43 additional officers for a total of $30 million. 

The City Council called the officer shortage a crisis and said it will work to address it immediately. The council referred to the city manger to present funding options that would address the staffing shortage. 

The Chula Vista Police Chief said it is hiring and offering up to a $10,000 lateral incentive for officers it hires from other police departments. 


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