PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The 10th Judicial District Attorneys Office in Pueblo County is experiencing a staffing shortage resulting in the reduction of 20 percent of their staff.
According to District Attorney Jeff Chostner, his team is down five attorneys, forcing his office to push back some trials.
"I am short 20 percent of my trial attorneys, which has consequences in terms of how quickly we go to trial. Justice can always be slow, but this makes it even slower," Chostner told KRDO.
Chostner acknowledged that the delays have led to some public frustration, but he said his team is working to hire new attorneys.
"We are doing all that we can to recruit new attorneys to Pueblo County, so we can more capable and efficiently prosecute cases," Chostner said.
But the DA's office isn't seeing many applications right now, and it's not the first time they have dealt with attorney shortages.
The DA's Office is not the only law enforcement agency experiencing shortages. Currently, the Pueblo Police Department is short 31 patrol officers.
"I don't think that they are not getting to certain crimes, I think they are. I believe the community is still protected," Chostner said.
"Across the board, law enforcement is suffering from a lack of applicants. The DA's office being part of the law enforcement team, we are suffering the same kind of problems," Chostner said. "The issue is somewhat of a knock that law enforcement has taken over the last couple of years. I think it has discouraged many from going into law enforcement."
The District Attorney's Office has been recruiting greener lawyers who may still be in law school.
"We are taking a look at attorneys that are maybe in their third year in law school or people who are awaiting bar results. We are going deeper into the job pool," Chostner said.
Chostner assured the public that they are not turning cases down, or not charging a category of cases.
"The wheels of justice grind slowly but grind they do. We are carrying on and doing the best job we can."