Anchorage Police Department: From Feared Cuts to a Full Academy
With potential for high attrition, department plans for full academy class
ANCHORAGE - Over the span of just a few months, the Anchorage Police Department has gone from planning to cut as many as 36 jobs to now preparing for a full academy of 28 officers.
Police Chief Mark Mew said today that the department’s budget took a hit last year, but it was smaller than they initially feared. In the end, they were able to keep all 36 employees.
With his budget for new hires back on track, Mew said the new openings posted yesterday would fill spots that will soon be left empty by retiring officers.
“People leave all the time,” Mew said. “They hit the end of their career, they find other jobs, they retire, they move on, and their positions remain open.”
“We anticipate by this fall we will… be very close to having 20 to 28 openings,” Mew said. Those open positions will be filled by the new recruits after they finish at the academy.
Twenty is the usual attrition rate for the department, Mew said, “so every year, just to maintain our position, our place, without growing without shrinking, we need to hire 20 people.”
The department's plan to hire nearly 30 officers is designed to offset the above-average rates of retirement expected this year. That, in part, is due to a union agreement that offers a one-time lump sum to retirees who leave the department before 2014.