SCMPD vacancies lowest in a decade - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD vacancies lowest in a decade

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

It is more good news from the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department as they have the lowest number of officer vacancies in over a decade.

Applications are at an all-time high, but the department is not letting off the gas. Progress is being made despite the perception by some that it is taking a little longer than they would like.
 
Sixty hires per year for 2013 and 2014. In 2015, SCMPD saw 126 hires. Not only were there more hires but there were also more rehires, which means officers are coming back. Increase pay, an improvement in morale and a proven leader are just a few of things that are really helping. The department has 27 vacancies, the lowest in a decade.

“In addition to those 27 officer vacancies, we have about 65-67 officers in training and I know the public is anxious to get those out of the streets but we did not want to lower the standard for officers,” said Michelle Gavin with SCMPD.

Applications have also picked up since the new year, and just this past weekend the department saw a record number of recruits showing up for initial PT testing.

"We had 45 people show up which is the record number we have had for that training," said Gavin.

The attrition rate is also something to see a major change.
 
"From 2010 to 2014 we lost 475 officers, which is a 17 percent attrition rate. That was unacceptable. The national average is around 10-12 percent," said Gavin. "For us to hit 6.8 percent attrition by the end of last year that just shows the positive changes that have been happening within the department."

What this means is you will start seeing more patrol in areas like the Historic District.

Gavin says they will continue their aggressive approach through digital recruiting. They are looking at March Madness as a time to really recruit hard.

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