Updated: 11/02/2012 7:55 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
Minneapolis Police have an aging force and many are approaching retirement. There are more than 800 police officers on the streets of Minneapolis. But, Assistant Chief Janee Harteau told a City Council Committee that the next few years will be a big challenge. That's because 74 officers are eligible for retirement in 2013 and by 2020, that number could be as large as 320 officers heading off into the sunset.
Chief Harteau told the committee many things keep her up at night, but this issue weighs heavily on her mind. The challenge is not finding bodies willing to be police officers, but getting them on the streets in a timely manner to avoid low staffing levels on the streets. Matthew Petz, Senior Dean of Justice Studies at Rasmussen College, says there are many people with the education and the license to become officers, but they need to be trained by their respective departments and that takes time. Petz says planning for retirement and then timing the arrival of new recruits for the street is a delicate balancing act.
But, Petz says, Minneapolis Police are doing the right thing by getting out in front of this problem early.