By Nicole Bell -
Too many officers are leaving the department for better pay in neighboring localities. That's the message from Hopewell City Council.
Now, the city is taking a new approach to help combat the problem.
The city has decided to form a task force to address retention issues, specifically among new officers.
The task force will be comprised of Hopewell citizens, who have experience with public safety.
City officials say, the group will research what other police departments are doing in terms of pay structure, retention, and promotion.
The vice mayor of Hopewell says the city is paying thousands of dollars to train new officers. Many of whom end up leaving the department after a few years to work at police departments in Chesterfield and other surrounding localities.
The reason why? Better pay say some city officials.
Right now, the Hopewell Police Department has five openings. That means five less officers on the streets, which Vice Mayor Greg Cuffey says is a real concern.
"Public safety is a priority for Council and the thrust behind this is to keep our streets safe, to minimize impact on our budget, and to get more officers and retain them -- we want to keep them here," says Vice Mayor Cuffey.