Auburn Police Department remains nine positions down, recruitment still a struggle

Still dealing with nine vacancies, recruitment remains a challenge for the Auburn Police Department. The department hopes to fill at least some of those positions by next spring, but Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler said things are questionable right now.

As he presented the police department’s proposed 2019-20 budget at a city council meeting Thursday, Butler spoke about the agency’s recruitment struggles as his roster remains sapped.

The department is hoping to send two recruits from the most recent civil service exam list to a police academy. After those two names from the civil service list are dealt with, the list will become exhausted. The police department also has one lateral transfer prospect, meaning a candidate from an outside agency could be hired.

The next civil service exam is in September, Butler said, but it could be almost a year until interviewing could start for that batch of candidates. This brings up another possible dilemma: will a police academy be available then for new recruits?

“We have to look realistically with how we’re going to fill these positions,” Butler said.

The chief also mentioned some concern throughout the department over trimming positions.

“We’re not reducing our numbers,” said Butler “As you know, we’re budgeted for 67 (positions). I want 70. I know that’s not what I’m budgeted for, but 67 is our bare minimum — that’s what we need.”

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