Columbia faces a shortage of public safety officers after losing 140 officers in the past five years, according to the fiscal year budgets.
Council member Matt Pitzer wants to change that by starting a Public Safety Recruiting and Retention Initiative.
The goal of the initiative is to counteract the recent losses in public safety personnel, Pitzer announced yesterday. Columbia would do so by offering financial incentives to current and new officers.
Pitzer says the initiative would benefit public safety departments in both the short term and long term.
“Well, hopefully, we’ll see more fully staffed departments. We’ll also see folks who are staying longer and making longer-term commitments to the city and their careers here”
The initiative would allocate $500,000 from the 2017 fiscal year budget savings toward down payments on homes based on 5 to 10-year commitments from police and firefighters.