Anchorage Police Staffing Declines Stalls Plans

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Anchorage Police Department has 34 fewer officers on the payroll than it did in 2009 , and the staffing declines are stalling plans to increase community policing.
   
Reports says staffing has been reduced through lean city budgets promoted by Mayor Dan Sullivan since he took office four years ago.
   
The police department has 374 officers as of mid-October, compared with a peak of 408 in early 2009.
   
The declining numbers of officers come at a time when the department's long-term goal is to shift to a more community-based policing.
   
Police chief Mark Mew says that at current staffing levels, officers are tied up responding to calls to an extent that doesn't allow a lot of proactive policing.

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