SDPD Chief calls staffing issue a ‘crisis’

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SAN DIEGO- Recruiting experienced police officers in San Diego is becoming a crisis.  During a meeting with the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee meeting Thursday afternoon, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the department hired 160 officers last year, but lost 162.

"It doesn't make sense," said Chief Zimmerman.

While crime has not increased in San Diego, Zimmerman is concerned it will rise if more officers aren't on the streets soon.

Currently there are 1,847 sworn officers with the San Diego Police Department, which is 166 less than what it should have.

Zimmerman adds one reason why it has been difficult recruiting  and keeping police officers is the take home pay.

According to The San Diego Police Officers Association, officers are paid about $18,000 less than a local sheriff deputy. The attrition rate is about 10 officers a month, and many are going to other agencies for higher pay.

"We need more officers. Whatever you need to do, you should do," said one community member at Thursday's meeting.

Data is currently being collected to compare SDPD officers' compensation to other agencies the same size. That report should be completed in one month.


  • Jon

    How many people applied for a job with the San Diego Police Department? I have a hard time believing that less than 10 qualified candidates apply to work and live in beautiful San Diego each month. Police officers make about twice the average wage in San Diego. Paid training in the academy, and make in the $70,000 within 4 years of being hired. Not to mention the finest benefits for healthcare and retirement. Also if you sexually assault someone while on duty the city will even pay $250,000 for your lawyers. I would not be surprised if the police are intentionally keeping a staffing shortage to push for even hire wages and benefits. It would not be the first time the city faced a scandal.

    • Ron

      You have never been a cop obviously, it’s a hard job and the money isnt near worth you putting your life on the line everyday. Then if you shoot youre screwed, and if you dont your dead. Yeah , i was a sheriffs Deputy, but had enough. SD lost a lot of good cops when they changed the retirement and pay system.

  • Jim McMillan

    Just need to make CCWs more available to cut the crime rate. Save the police for solving crimes, less time cruising around. It has been clearly established that criminals are deterred by armed citizens.

    • Ron

      They have changed the CCW system, theres just a long back log to get one. I agree, criminals are afraid of armed citizens, liberals just dont get it.

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