The San Diego Police Department introduced their largest class of recruits in more than 25 years on Friday.
The next academy class has 63 new recruits who will start training on June 10.
“They will be in training for approximately 11 months before they’ll be able to work out on the street, out on their own,” said Lt. Steve Waldheim. “We have a long, vigorous training process but it keeps them qualified and get them ready to help out the community.”
This couldn't come at a better time.
The department currently has about 200 police officer positions they're trying to fill.
In March 2018, NBC 7 reported that city statistics showed the department lost 253 police officers in the previous 12 months.
In 2017, we reported that of the more than 4,000 applications the department receives on average, only about 100 officers were hired annually.
At the time, a police officer's union representative told NBC 7 the reason officers were leaving the SDPD was pay and benefits.
The annual salary for a recruit-level police officer within the San Diego Police Department is between $54,000 to $57,000.
A candidate must complete seven months of training to get their badge and an additional five months of training in the field.