Auburn Police Department seeking solutions in face of officer shortage

As the Auburn Police Department saw four more officers retire in January, adding to what was already a staff shortage, Chief Shawn Butler said the department is working hard to find a creative solution.

Three patrol officers, Brandy Quigley, Andrew Hitt and Scott Spin; and Detective Bryant Bergenstock retired from APD between Jan. 3 and Jan. 25 after each serving 20 years or more with the department. Butler said municipal police officers in New York can retire with half-pay pensions after 20 years.

"They all had different (job) opportunities. It leaves us in a predicament, but I wish them the best, I understand when your time comes, your time comes," Butler said Wednesday.

Butler said the department currently has 56 of its 67 budgeted positions filled, but there are currently 54 active officers as one is on military leave in Africa and a new recruit who was severely injured in defensive tactics training at the police academy is still recovering.

One more patrol officer has indicated he will retire in March, Butler added, and a captain may also be leaving in April or May. "We're used to a couple retirements a year, not hard to handle — but when you have a sixth, or more, of your complete force gone it really causes logistical issues," he said.

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