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Washington PD seeking additional full-time employees

A significant increase in the number of calls of service responded to by Washington police personnel during a five-year period is behind a request to hire four new full-time employees.

Those four new employees would cost the city $210,156 in the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year, which begins July 1, according to a document in the city’s proposed budget for that year. The request is included in the services-expansion section of the proposed budget.

The City Council would decide the fate of the request.

“During the past 5 years the calls for service has increased by 10,351. In 2012, calls for service were 22,325 and 2017 calls for service was 32,676, This equates to a 46 percent increase in calls for service,” wrote Stacy Drakeford, the city’s police and fire services director, in the document.

In 2010, the Washington Police Department had 49.5 full-time employees, falling to 41 full-time employees in 2017, according to the document. During that five-year period, the number of patrol officers declined from 26 officers to 22 officers, the number of detectives fell from seven detectives to four detectives and the command staff decreased from five people to four people.

“The goal is to reorganize the department to provide additional manpower during the peak time of the day, which is normally 12 noon to 12 midnight. Furthermore, with the increased traffic in the downtown area and the Carolina Avenue/15th street corridor these areas will see an increase in police presence,” Drakeford wrote. “the additional FTE’s will provide an increase in random patrols across all areas of the city, potentially decrease response times, allow for additional follow-up to investigations, and continue the department’s community and problem solving approach to assist in providing the best public service to the citizens of Washington.”

The decrease in the number of full-time employees has resulted in cancellation of vacation leave and training to meet the minimum shift standard, according to Drakeford.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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