top of page

Officer Shortage Persists, Affects BRPD Operations

Currently, the department operates with approximately 100 fewer officers than its optimal staffing level, a notable increase from the shortage of around 30 officers reported in 2016.
Currently, the department operates with approximately 100 fewer officers than its optimal staffing level, a notable increase from the shortage of around 30 officers reported in 2016.

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) continues to grapple with a significant shortage of officers, mirroring challenges faced by police departments nationwide. Currently, the department operates with approximately 100 fewer officers than its optimal staffing level, a notable increase from the shortage of around 30 officers reported in 2016.


Lt. L'Jean McKneely, spokesperson for BRPD, highlighted the magnitude of the shortfall, stating, "We have an allotment of 695 officers. We've always hovered around 640, 650. Right now we're around 560, 570. We'd like to get those numbers back up to 650, 660, but it's a challenge."


Various factors contribute to this shortage, including salary disparities and evolving public perceptions of law enforcement. McKneely emphasized ongoing efforts to bolster recruitment: "We're pushing hard with our recruiting efforts in an attempt to get individuals who want to serve. Quality persons who want to serve and be part of our organization."


Despite implementing a recruitment bonus ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 in October 2022, the department has seen limited success, with only 45 new police officers added since then. In response, BRPD has requested amendments to the 2024 pay plan from the Metro Council. The proposed changes aim to extend the eligibility period for bonuses and expedite payout dates to align with guidelines outlined in the American Rescue Plan.


McKneely elaborated on the proposed amendments, stating, "We're going to change the language so that we can be sure that the new hires for this next upcoming academy can get the money that's promised to them."


Additionally, in June of the previous year, the Metro Council approved bonuses totaling $8,000 for new dispatchers in a bid to address staffing shortages in that department. However, the impact has been limited, with only three new dispatchers recruited thus far.


The persistent officer shortage underscores the pressing need for concerted efforts to attract and retain qualified personnel within BRPD, essential for maintaining public safety and effective law enforcement services in Baton Rouge.

50 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page