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Pueblo Police Department short 31 patrol officers

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pueblo Police Department normally has 110 officers working on the patrol division, but as of Tuesday, only 79 officers are able to get in a patrol car.

Pueblo Police Chief Steven Noeller said some of the patrol officers are injured and will return, but he acknowledged the department is currently experiencing a staffing shortage.

"It makes it more difficult for us to respond in the time that we want to and give our citizens the service that they deserve," Noeller said.

Pueblo Police officers are having to prioritize high-level calls like shootings, serious car accidents, and domestic violence issues.

"We have been able to maintain those quick response times with these types of calls despite the manpower issues," Noeller said. "However, the lower level priority calls end up waiting longer for an officer to arrive."

A lateral transfer program was approved in August that would allow Pueblo PD to garner transfers from other police departments. Since then, they've had 13 lateral transfer applicants.

"We hope that we will be able to hire a number of the lateral transfers. This will allow us to do a shortened academy, and get them out in the field very quickly," Noeller said.

Noeller says a staff shortage could be linked to a sentiment that few people want to be a cop today, thus leading to staff shortages for police departments across the country.

"It's a worry as chief of police that you are constantly thinking of. I am sure my predecessors, prior to the current environment, worried about the number of applicants that they would be able to bring in." Noeller said.

Noeller says Pueblo PD is committed to giving the people of Pueblo a high level of service.

"The citizens in this community are valuable to us. We are committed to being where we need to be as soon as we can be there."

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Sean Rice

Sean is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Pueblo county could always quit breaking the laws they are supposed to enforce maybe that would attract more people to work for ya.

  2. “The Pueblo Police Department normally has 110 officers working on the patrol division, but as of Tuesday, only 79 officers are able to get in a patrol car.”
    Sounds like PPD needs to reduce their special divisions and get the patrol division back up to 110 officers. Get the Retired on Active Duty special division officers and supervisors back on patrol. Patrol is priority, always has been, always will be.
    “Noeller says a staff shortage could be linked to a sentiment that few people want to be a cop today, thus leading to staff shortages for police departments across the country.”
    Perhaps some officers simply will not work for certain agencies lacking in ethics and morals, or simply are unwilling to work where the leader has already been identified as “Deputy Chief Noeller’s supervision and leadership style is, at a minimum, divisive.”
    But tell us again why it is the people not wanting to be a cop and it has nothing to do with the legacy you and this department brought to the table.

    1. People do not want to be an officer why?….. Well just look around, officers enforcing the law are now viewed as oppressors and low people in society. Why would anyone want to be an officer in this day and age. You do your job and you torn apart by the median and people who want to be able to break the law. It is a sad day in America when we berate the people who are willing to put their lives on the line for society and are tasked to make very hard decisions. An office shoots a black person committing a violent crime to protect himself and the public then…… the public storms their house calls then racist and runs them out of town when they were totally justified in their actions.

  3. You don’t just loose 31 officers overnight. Where is all that money earmarked for 31 saleries going? Who’s pockets are being lined with bonuses for doing more with less leaving the officers on patrol tired and overworked. That makes them more prone to make mistakes that result in fewer convictions and bad judgement calls.

    1. The money for salaries is still there. I would imagine that they don’t have a the applicants they did before the nation turned its back on law enforcement.

    2. Overnight, no. Over 60 days from when the new chief was hired and the mayor released their public statement advising if there were personnel working for their department that didn’t support this chief then they need to suck it up or move on. I guess they went somewhere else, at the Mayor’s request and Chief taking the position.
      “So, they’re just gonna have to either figure out how they’re going to get along with the chief or decide they’re gonna go somewhere else.” – Mayor Nick Gradisar
      https://krdo.com/news/2021/07/23/13-investigates-questions-pueblo-mayors-appointment-of-controversial-police-chief/

      1. Treating your staff poorly when your “supervision and leadership style is, at a minimum, divisive”, sets the bar pretty low. All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately when your leadership is, at a minimum, divisive, and your mayoral support is “get along with the chief” or have to make the best decision for themselves and their family to “go somewhere else”.
        This is their bed, they made it, with several warnings before they made the decision. There can’t be any boo-hooing or back-tracking at this point. If the public is unsatisfied with the poor decision the mayor made in hiring the chief, well time to clean the weeds, root and stem. Vote them out, demand better from our elected officials.

    3. “Where is all that money earmarked for 31 saleries going?”
      More than likely, it went to paying for the overtime for the called in line officers to fill the empty shifts. Yes, the line officers are tired and overworked, and underpaid; they need the admin and the detectives in the special divisions to fill the gap and take calls for service as well, until they are back to full-staff.

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