Growing populations and growing crime rates have local police looking to expand. Both Bryan and College Station's police departments are asking for more money to hire additional officers.
When it came time to review the budget and assess the needs of the police department, College Station Police Chief Michael Clancey took a hard look at the numbers. He says the department needs 9 additional officers to keep up with the city's growing population.
" We're down to 26% time available for pro-active activities to address things such as nuisance behavior, burglaries, car burglaries. I'm very concerned with that, " said Chief Clancey.
There are currently 62 College Station patrol officers. But at times, there are only 4 cops patrolling the entire city. Clancey would like to see the minimum number on the street increase to 6. He says he's also concerned with traffic safety and property crime.
" In College Station in 2003-2004, there were over 5,000 auto accidents, 15 fatalities accidents.Traffic safety is a major issues in this city," said Chief Clancey.
Over in Bryan, Police Chief Mike Strope is concerned with violent crimes and the departments ability to handle calls for service.
" In Bryan we use the workforce availability formula which takes into account total number of calls and the amount of time it takes to respond to those calls," said Chief Strope.
Bryan receives over 70,000 calls a year. Chief Strope requested money from the city council for 6 additional officers to keep up with the demand, but only received enough for 2.
" We've kind of been trying to manage smartly and do more with less and still maintain staffing levels and provide a good quality level of police service," said Chief Strope.
Like College Station, Bryan also has 62 patrol officers with a minimum of 8 patrolling the city at a time. Strope says due to the high number of violent crimes in the city, it often takes 2 officers to respond.
While Bryan and College Station differ in many respects, they do have one thing in common. Both say more soldiers are needed to continue the local war on crime.
Chief Clancey says it will cost about $400,000 dollars to hire 9 additional officers.
The College Station city council is expected to approve that amount at its September 21st meeting.
Texas A&M University police is also adding 4 new officers.
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