By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department welcomes 13 new officers after the Police Academy graduation Friday evening. Even with these new officers, LPD is still nearly 50 officers short of what they should have.
The class started off with 20 recruits but only 13 made it through the academy, bringing LPD's total to 374 sworn officers. That's 48 shy of the 422 authorized amount of officers the city should have.
"More and more folks are coming to Lubbock all the time, and as they do that the department has to grow too so we're always chasing that eelusive two per thousand," said Coelusiveorey Nunley in charge of LPD's Recruiting Department.
Nunley says they try to do everything possible to attract new officers, even though City Council refused to pass a pay raise earlier this year.
"A pay raise is always great and it would definitely make a difference as far as being able to attract more people but we still get quality people," said Nunley.
On top of that many officers can retire soon.
"There could be up to 100 officers eligible for retirement in the next five years, but that doesn't mean 100 officers are going to," said Nunely.
However with the new openings, come new opportunities.
"Your opportunity to move around inside the department, to go to one division to another whether it be patrol or homicide or swat team or investigates position increases over a stagnant department," said Nunley.
The academy has graduated more than 120 officers in the past four years, many of which stay in Lubbock, and recruiters hope to draw in more people from out of town as well.
"We are making headway. It's just one of those things we're not going to sacrifice quality for quantity," said Nunley.
In just two weeks, the academy will get 21 new recruits to start off the New Year. That academy starts January 4th and will be the first of two classes during 2010.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.