Update at 5 p.m. – An understaffed Alexandria Police Department is cutting services to the community, the department announced Wednesday, June 2.
Police will no longer respond to calls for service that are the responsibility of another agency or respond to old crime scenes that pose no danger to the public.
“The Alexandria Police Department, like most law enforcement across the country, has experienced a significant reduction in its workforce due to resignations and retirements,” the ODA said in a statement. communicated. “While the ODA remains committed to providing excellent public safety services, this reduction in the number of officers has affected how the ODA will provide services to the community.”
Police said the changes “will prioritize workload to better serve the Alexandria community.”
The department is budgeted for 311 sworn officer positions, but currently has 291 sworn officers on payroll, including 13 who are still in the academy and have yet to complete their police training, according to the APD.
Police Chief Don Hayes said officers will continue to actively monitor neighborhoods.
“Like everyone else, the pool is smaller and everyone is in the same pool,” Hayes told ALXnow in a recent interview. “When you have Arlington County that’s down 60 (officers), Fairfax is down 100, Prince William is down 40 and we’re down about 23. And you’re looking for qualified candidates, but everyone not everyone is qualified to do this job. They just don’t meet the qualifications. And you can’t lower your standards because you’ll have more trouble integrating them than you would without them.
Vice Mayor Amy Jackson says the decision is unfortunate and the answer is about budgeting and collective bargaining. She also said she was not surprised by the announcement.
“We as a community need at get up at the top our police department,” Jackson told ALXnow. “And I think when our town Is this, the Region will be too do this and we will be be power at to attract and to hold onto Talent with the skill Position necessary at work here in Alexandria. And right now, we are not to attract Where to hold onto the Talent this we want to here for our department. Iit is a sad State of business. I to believe we have the leadership this will be obtain we at this waiting.”
The police won a 6% increase in the fiscal year 2023 budget from City Manager Jim Parajon, which will take effect next month.
The Department will also provide more support for online and telephone reporting, and is working on an awareness campaign about the changes.