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Shortage of police officers impacts Central Texas law enforcement

Law enforcement across Central Texas is dealing with a shortage of police officers, including the city of Lorena. Chief Scott Holt tells 25 News about the impact the shortage has on their department.
Posted at 3:38 PM, Jul 05, 2024

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

"Unfortunately, Lorena, like many small towns and cities, are not able to offer the same benefit package and the starting salaries as some of your larger organizations can,” Chief Scott Holt with Lorena Police said.

The city of Lorena, like many small towns across Central Texas, are dealing with a shortage of police officers.

That puts a strain on those currently on the force.

"What we see over long periods of time, is the extra days you work and extra hours you work each day, starts having an effect on you,” Holt said.

Police tell me they are seeing a 20% decrease in their authorized staff.

This is an ongoing issue across Texas.

Fewer officers on the forces them to take on more responsibilities, adding stress on the overall staff.

"Both physically, mentally, emotionally, and unfortunately sometimes outside the job,” Holt said.

Lorena currently has 10 officers and are looking to hire 2.

One of the positions has been open since December.

They are relying on networking, social media and their staff to spread the word.

"We make those necessary adjustments to ensure that officers are still on the street, answering calls for service, and taking care of those in need,” Holt said.

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