The San Diego Police Department's DUI Enforcement Team is dwindling down to just four officers and one sergeant. Danya Bacchus spoke with Lt. Andra Brown about what this might mean for public safety in San Diego.
The San Diego Police Department's DUI Enforcement Team is dwindling down to just four officers and one sergeant.
A department hiring freeze forced the department to gradually reduce the team, which is in charge of detection and apprehension of drivers who are suspected of being under the influence, according to Lt. Andra Brown with the San Diego Police Department.
Before the cut, the team had eight officers and a sergeant. Now, those four officers will be redistributed to other squads in the traffic division.
Officers in the traffic division are in charge of arresting DUI suspects. That service will continue regardless of the enforcement team's size -- and so will DUI checkpoints, which are typically paid for with grants.
The difference now is that those officers moved from the DUI enforcement team will not be exclusively focused on preventing and enforcing DUIs, Brown said.
"It stands to reason that the majority of the department's DUI arrests were not made by these four individuals," Brown said, "but they were made by the other traffic division officers or the patrol officers in the 9 divisions throughout the city. So we're not expecting that the level or quality of those DUI arrest will suffer in anyway."
The San Diego Police Department has experienced a hiring freeze, but Brown said they have been able to hire more officers who are now going through training.
"We are actually starting to move toward being able to build up more staffing so hopefully we won't have to see this with any other units," Brown said.