Cobb Police are understaffed and the problem is not getting any better. Which is what a leading police advocate will tell county commissioners at their meeting Tuesday night.
Right now, figures on Cobb police staffing obtained by WSB indicate a shortage of 160 officers. Even with new hires, it looks like the department will have fewer officers on the beat at the end of this year than at the end of last.
“Very little if anything is being done to effectively stem the tide,” said attorney Lance LoRusso, a former police officer and outspoken cop advocate.
He called the situation a crisis when he spoke to commissioners back in February. Now, he wonders, what has changed?
“Right now, there are times when only 50-percent of the patrol beats are getting covered,” he said. “It’s getting worse.”
The Cobb County Police Department is authorized to hire 645 sworn officers. By the end of July, the number of officers actually serving will have dropped to 485, given projections on officer retention. There are 20 recruits currently undergoing field training and another 25 expected to graduate in the current class at the police academy.
“So, after all is said and done, we will have fewer officers on the road at the end of 2014 than we did at the end of 2013,” said one police source. “And that will be just two years before first pitch at the new Braves stadium” which officers and their supporters believe will be a tremendous drain on their ability to enforce the law county-wide.