Sherman Tackles Officer Shortage

By  | 

12-4-06 Sherman Police Department supervisors say they're looking to boost their force. Officer Chuck Maudlin's days are busier than usual because of staffing issues.

"I probably take twice as many written reports and probably answer 30 to 40% more calls during a shift," Maudlin said.

Sherman Chief of Police Tom Watt says the short-staffed force is due to lower officer salaries. According to a recent study, Watt says Sherman Police pays about 14% less than competing cities like McKinney, Allen, and Frisco.

It's basic economics. Lower salaries make it harder for Sherman to recruit new officers and keep existing officers on the streets. This month alone, 3 Sherman officers made their career move south.

Chief Watt presented his case to the Sherman City Council to find a solution. City leaders estimate it will take up to $1 million to change the pay structure.

Despite the financial concerns, officers say it's a worthwhile investment. So the process begins for the city and the police department. Until an answer is found and positions are filled, officers like Chuck Maudlin will likely continue to deal with the turn-over, and the extra work that goes with it.

Watt says the public shouldn't be concerned about safety. Community outreach programs may be the most affected.