Pugh blames hiring process for officer shortage
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - One item Mayor Catherine Pugh addressed in her news conference on the outbreak of juvenile crime in Baltimore is the shortage of police officers.
The mayor says the city is making progress, but Crime & Justice reporter Joy Lepola says it's a challenge.
Since 2005, the Baltimore Police Department has lost almost 1,000 more officers than it has hired.
The mayor says there are currently about 2,500 officers in the department.
That's about 700 fewer than what the department had at its peak.
Pugh says one of the challenges is the length of time it takes to approve new applicants.
"It's not that people don't want to be police officers," she said.
The mayor says the city is on pace to hire more officers than it loses this year.
That's only happened three times in the last 12 years.