SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department is facing a large number of vacancies in its ranks. And while the police officers’ association is calling for more increased numbers on the force, opponents are against it, citing decreased crime levels over the last decade.
On Tuesday, a Sacramento County grand jury report showed the police department currently has 747 sworn officers — down 65 from its “authorized level.” The report recommends removing a college degree requirement, allowing tattoos, piercings, and ponytails for officers as a way for the department to attract more recruits.
The report comes on the heels of a deadly shooting inside Arden Fair Mall on Black Friday in which two teens were gunned down.
The Sacramento Police Officer’s Association President Timothy Davis issued a statement reading:
“Currently there are nearly 70 police officer vacancies in the Sacramento Police Department. Even if all the vacancies were filled, there would still not be enough police officers to meet the needs of this growing city of over half a million residents.”
But Mark T. Harris founder of Law Enforcement Accountability Directive (L.E.A.D.), says the report just supports what police are asking for.
“Here we have a grand jury that basically ‘cut and pasted’ what the police department wanted,” Harris said. “This grand jury report, in my opinion, really missed the mark.”
Harris points out the report identifies crime as down overall in Sacramento in the past decade — even with fewer sworn officers.
Mayor Steinberg said the city will spend time in January redefining police officer roles.
The report also recommends positive PR from city leaders and outside firms.
More from CBS Sacramento: