PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the staffing levels at the police department have reached a critical low as the city tries to stop record gun violence. The commissioner said they are not attracting new candidates at the number they once saw.
Outlaw spoke at a public hearing held by the Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention on Wednesday.READ MORE: Eagles RT Lane Johnson Announces His Return, Opens Up About Mental Health
The police department has about 6,100 sworn officers. It’s looking for 275 more.
On top of that, close to a thousand officers are not currently working.READ MORE: Maurice Hill, Man Accused Of Shooting 6 Philadelphia Police Officers During 2019 Standoff, To Begin Trial Monday
CBS3 contacted the department for a breakdown about the reasons why and we are waiting for a response.
That leaves only about 5,100 officers on the force to date.
“It is a reality that our numbers are at a very critical low,” Outlaw said. “Our authorized strength was reduced in the last budget process… process before last – and it was not restored but even with that said, it takes some time to get the bodies here.”MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: District Attorney Larry Krasner, Officials To Discuss Retaliatory Shooting Case, Reiterate Call To End Cash Bail
Outlaw said new requirements for recruits are also part of the challenge. For example, potential applicants have to live in the city for a year.