The Austin Police Department is recommending the city hire as many as 250 more officers by 2017 to meet population growth. The suggested number came from a study by the Police Executive Research Forum.
Austin follows a rough ratio of two officers per thousand residents as a staffing guideline. Currently there’s just over 1,700 APD officers meeting the staffing guideline.
"When the [city] is growing by 150 or 170 people a day, there are going to be impacts all the way around, especially in terms of police service. We will either adjust or modify the way we respond," APD Chief of Staff David Carter said.
The city’s Public Safety Commission, however, expressed concerns over what the recommendation means economically.
“From a business case perspective, it would be very beneficial to consider how you can get the most bang for your buck out of the extra civilian and sworn individuals," said Kim Rossmo, vice chair of the Public Safety Commission and a professor of criminology at Texas State University.
"While we are generally supportive of the extra resources, but we want to feel confident that the extra resources are going to be as effective as possible,” Rossomo said.
The Austin City Council will take up police funding for next fiscal year– along with the city’s overall budget –starting in May. Departments have until June to submit their final proposed budgets.