As personnel shortages cripple some industries, a Mid-Michigan police department faces similar effects and now officers are pulling out.
“There is too much crime in the city, there are not enough officers and our officers are leaving,” Saginaw police sergeant Matthew Carpus said.
This is the reasoning behind a video posted on YouTube by Carpus. He is also president of the Saginaw City Police Command Officers Association.
“You can have bad leadership, or you can have bad pay, you can’t have both. And that’s the problem we have right now,” Carpus said.
Carpus said officers were overworked.
“He had a four hour break between a 9 pm shift and a 24 hour shift. He sleeps in his car in the parking lot,” Carpus said.
The department is understaffed.
“There are evenings that we have four or five people working for the whole town of Saginaw,” Carpus said.
Which makes every shift a struggle.
“I think it’s safe to say morale is at its lowest,” said Carpus.
This leads the agents to find a new place of work.
“They love the community. They want to serve the community, but it gets to a point where it just gets too much that the officers just can’t stand it. And at some point it’s not worth what we ‘you do. come back and that’s when the guys start to leave, ”said Carpus.
Carpus said he’s working with the city manager to try to find solutions to the staffing and retention issue, and that includes exit interviews to find out why some of Saginaw’s best are heading for the door. But he said just adding more new officers wouldn’t solve the lingering problem.
“We have to give our officers a reason to want to stay here, otherwise the city will just keep on training new officers, paying for new officers, investing a lot of new money in the officers just to get them out,” Carpus said.