SPOKANE, Wash.--Mayor David Condon said the robberies at local pharmacies in early January in Spokane are a reminder the City needs more officers on the streets.
The City’s 2014 budget calls for 25 new officers.
The mayor mentioned some officers are already training to join the department. Some of those officers will be ready to join the department towards late January or early February.
The City still needed to hire another 13 officers.
“I think overall though as you look at this, the availability of our police officers is key,” said Mayor David Condon.
The mayor said the recent crimes show the need for the new officers that he placed in the City’s budget.
The Spokane Police Department had hired 12 new officers by early January. Nine of them are working as officers for the first time. Three of them are coming from other police departments.
"We're in the process of getting those, we actually have had some hires already and some going to the academy,” said Mayor Condon.
Spokane police said of the nine first-time officers that four graduated from the Washington State Police Academy in December. Five others should graduate in May. Training for that lasts 18 weeks in western Washington.
The mayor said in the case of the officers coming from other departments, they still need to find a place for them within the Spokane Police Department.
"We already have done interviews, we already have eligible laterals, now is an issue how do you put them and integrate them now,” said Mayor Condon.
Both the first-time officers and those coming from other departments still need to spend three weeks training with the Spokane Police Department before they are ready for work.
SPD may not decide where to assign an officer close to the end of training, but it is likely the new hires will be put on patrol duty according to authorities.
The department hopes to have a total of 300 officers by the end of 2014.