HPD Officer Shortage

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt recently called for more police cadet classes. He wants to double the number of classes a year from five to ten. Mayor Bill White says the city can afford to increase HPD to more than 5,000 officers over two-years. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports.

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White says running the city more efficiently is an alternative to raising property taxes for better city services.

"I don't think there needs to be, always, a trade off between getting evermore revenue, especially out of property taxes and services. I think if we run this city like a well run organization we can get more services out of it."

Mayor White says HPD is short of people because it had a lot of people eligible for retirement and when it became financially smart to retire many offers did. He says increasing the number of new officers will be good for the city in the long run.

We are a younger police department today than we were when I took office. We're going to younger still in two years and that's a police department for the future.

HPD currently has more than 4,700 officers.

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