Report: Hartford police patrol division understaffed by ‘at least’ 60 positions

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HARTFORD--A staffing analysis of the Hartford Police Department completed in March found that the department’s patrol division was understaffed by at least 60 positions.

The report was completed by an outside consulting group and looked at HPD’s staffing levels in 2012 and 2014.

It states that Police Chief James Rovella was “concerned that the staffing needs for patrol and the attrition rate of officers retiring from the department are impacting the ability to effectively police the city of Hartford.”

However, Rovella told Fox CT that the number of patrol units on the street at any given time hasn't decreased due to officers taking overtime, and the department is monitoring officers who take overtime to ensure they are not overworked.

"We’re continuing to staff all our cars and all of our community service, it’s at an overtime rate which puts officers out there continually," Rovella said.

According to the report, HPD had 417 officers at the beginning of 2015, with 61 eligible to retire by the end of the year. However, the report states that the department requires 479 officers to be adequately staffed.

Earlier this week, Mayor Pedro Segarra and city council approved a budget keeping police funding stable, enough funding for 430 sworn officers.

All of this news comes as violence spikes in Hartford. In just 11 days this month there were five homicides. In all, there have been 12 homicides in Hartford this year, compared to 4 at this point last year.

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