MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Between officers leaving for better pay and having to enforce downtown's new entertainment district, Mobile's top cop feels like his force has been stretched thin.
"We need another twenty or so officers," Chief Michael T. Williams told Local 15. "We want to get to the point we [have] 600 law enforcement officers."
Right now, the Mobile Police Department has a standing force of more than 550 officers, but the department loses roughly 40 to 50 officers each year through resignations and retirement.
"Because of the low pay in the city of Mobile, officers seek opportunities for higher paying jobs," Williams said.
Williams has asked the city for seven additional officers to handle increased enforcement of the entertainment district and its open-container policy.
"Right now we're having to fill those slots with off-duty officers using overtime," Williams said.
On Thursday, the MPD welcomed 12 new recruits. Because of police officer attrition, Williams said academy graduations have become more and more regular.
"We have to go back and backfill those slots," Williams said. "That's why you see us having so many academies. We have at least two academies each year."
Williams said his department is currently looking to fill approximately 20 officer positions, and that qualified candidates are welcome to apply and go through the testing process with the Personnel Board.