Their crime rate is fairly low, but College Station PD says they need more officers. As budget talks in the city continue, the department has once again brought up concerns of being short-handed, and one of their main rationales in asking for more: the need to be proactive.
"You never know how many crimes you prevented simply by that officer driving down the street," said Assistant Chief Larry Johnson, "so we like to be able to do that."
But Johnson says that will become less and less possible with expected growth. Currently, they are a department of 108 in uniform only able to sometimes put four on the street due to agency obligations and down time.
"When we have four officers on the street, I don't feel really comfortable because I know that with any incident, all four officers will be obligated to that one incident," Johnson said.
College Station is well-known across the state as having one of the lower crime rates for cities its size and bigger. That's being accomplished currently with 1.37 officers per 1,000 permanent residents, a number lower than their neighbor to the northside, and much lower than the justice department's recommendation.
Despite small increases in calls for service early in the decade, the numbers as of recently show declines. But Johnson says the better indicators is hours put in by his colleagues, a number increasing by the year.
"We have officers where they can't take time off because their squad will be shorthanded," Johnson said.
With major growth on the horizon and major events happening all the time, the strain is real to them.
"It is not just the permanent residents that we're dealing with," Johnson. "All the residents that travel here for work or conferences, for all those types of things, they all impact our ability to deliver service."
And with hundreds of thousands in and out regularly, CSPD's proactive approach on the streets has translated into proactive thoughts for the future.
A look now at stats gathered on other Big 12 cities as far as officers per one-thousand residents:
-College Station -- 1.37
-Lawrence, KS -- 1.34
-Waco -- 1.76
-Boulder, CO -- 1.67
-Lubbock -- 1.08
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