Denver PD, sheriff’s office look for ways to recruit, lower steep OT costs

"We’re losing bodies faster than we fill seats in the academy," a Denver PD sergeant said


By Ashley Silver 

DENVER — Staffing issues continue to plague law enforcement agencies nationwide. The Denver Police Department and Denver Sheriff’s Department is not immune to this problem. 

According to 9news, the Denver Police Department has paid out over $8 million in overtime through July 2022. Last year, it spent over $10 million for the entire year. Similarly, the sheriff's office has spent over $9 million in overtime in first six months of this year, which equals about $53,000 a day. 

"We’re losing bodies faster than we fill seats in the academy," DPD Sgt. and Police Protective Association board member Bryan O'Neil told 9news. "We’re losing a lot of people so those staffing pinches are becoming more pronounced." 

The sheriff’s department is working to alleviate staffing issues through incentive programs and recruitment tools. According to the report, the Denver City Council recently approved $7,000 in bonus pay for current deputies to assist in retaining officers. The Denver PD is also partnering with the Denver Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships to host community academies to bolster recruitment numbers.  

In addition to increased costs being a concern, O’Neil said the additional hours can impact officers emotionally and physically.  

Currently, the department needs 168 additional sworn officers to reach its goal of 1,596. Officials are hoping the recruitment and retainment programs will help bring new officers aboard and make a difference for current officers and the communities they serve.  

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