FORT WORTH — The president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association has turned to Facebook in making a very public plea for more officers.
In a recent post, union president Stephen Hall urged city leaders to hire more police officers to patrol the city as it continues to grow.
"They need to take a hard look at the staffing of the police department and consider actually growing the police department to meet the community needs," he said.
According to Hall, more than 700 officers patrolled the streets in 2009. But with reductions and vacancies, that number has fallen by more than 100 officers.
In April, Chief Jeffrey Halstead raised the same issue in an e-mail sent to city leaders. At that time, the chief pointed to data that showed response times were getting longer.
This summer, detectives are working patrols to help fill the void, while their case loads remain the same.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price's chief of staff released this statement: "Cities across the nation are struggling to maintain services across the board, in light of the economic climate. Make no mistake, public safety has and will continue to be a priority in Fort Worth."
That's encouraging to Connie Sheen, who opened Mijos Fusion restaurant in March after seeing growth in the city.
"To me, it's a make-or-break for me to pick this area," she said.