On May 24, 2018, just 18 police officer cadets graduated from the APD Police Academy that will actually go to work for APD.
These newly sworn officers will now be given on the job training with a supervisor for six months to complete their training.
Beginning January 1, 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers and these graduates will bring APD up to the 898 level.
APD retirements are expected to be announced on July 1, 2018.
Recently, the City Council past the 2018-2019 budget that allocates funding for 1,040 full time positions.
In order to increase APD from the current 898 sworn police with the new cadets counted to 1,040 sworn by this time next year, the APD Police Academy will need to keep up with expected retirements and will have to hire at least 144 new officers either as new recruits or as lateral hires.
Based on APD Academy past performance over the past 8 years, the Police Academy will not meet the goal of recruiting and hiring 140 police officers by the end of this year, let alone to 1,200 by the end of Keller’s four year term.
The 2018-2019 fiscal year budget reports the following number of cadet graduates over the last few years as follows:
Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2016-2017: 52
In 2016, APD had 90 retirements
Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2017-2018: 43
The net gain in 2017 was 2.
Approved number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 80
Mid-Year number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 24
Proposed number of approved cadet graduates for fiscal year 2019-2020: 100
At the beginning of 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers.
Mayor Keller is proposing to spend $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and expand APD from 878 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers by implementing a hiring and recruitment program to offer incentives, pay raises and bonuses to join or return to APD in order to return to community-based policing.
The Keller Administration successfully negotiated a two-year contract with the police union providing $12.2 million dollars in hourly wage increases and longevity pay increases to new and experienced police officers which should make APD more competitive with other cities and help recruitment efforts.
A “Status Quo Projection” for Number of APD Officers was included in the APD expansion plan if the plan was not implemented
Starting Officer Count each year for the next four years without the expansion plan:
Starting Officer recruitment and lateral hires and retirements without the expansion plan:
Annual New Recruits each year for the next four years: 56 per year for a total of 224
Annual Lateral Recruits each year for the next four years: 2 per year for a total of 8
Total Annual Recruits each year for the next four years: 58 per year for a total of 232
Annual Retirements each year for the next four years: 41 per year for a total of 164
Annual Resignations each year for the next four years: 24 per year for a total of 96
Total Annual Attrition each year for the next four years: 65 per year for a total of 260
Net Loss each year for the next four years: 8 per year for a total of 32
Projected remaining Officers each year for the next 4 years without the expansion plan:
The major obstacle the Keller Administration is confronted with is the APD Academy not being able to recruit and keep up with retirements and add to grow the department.
The average number of academy graduates is usually between 35 to 40 graduates and the academy normally has only two academy classes per year for new police officers.
If APD has the same number of retirements and other departures that it had last year, the likelihood the department’s sworn officer count will actually shrink.
Retirement paperwork for police retirements need to be submitted before July 1, 2018 to allow a retiree to be eligible for cost of living adjustments (COLA) within two years and to cash out or be paid unused accumulated annual and sick leave.
APD insiders are saying moral within the Department has improved somewhat, but not enough to keep another large wave of retirements come July 1, 2018 when the new fiscal year begins.
City residents need to hope that Keller’s aggressive recruitment and expansion plan woks, but it just may be reaching for an unreachable star.