On Tuesday, San Diego Police Officer Jeff Jordan gave a heartfelt perspective about his frustrations of being a police officer in a shrinking police department. Jeff, a patrol officer and a first responder, correctly describes the serious dangers to not only police officers, but also to the public when patrol staffing levels can’t sufficiently be maintained.
As a detective sergeant, I too am concerned with the exodus of many of our fine patrol officers, but also I’m concerned with the departure of many of our most talented detectives. At last count, the police department’s centralized investigative bureau was down some 60 detectives and the area station investigative teams were reported to be down another 30 detectives. Unfortunately, this number might grow even larger by the end of next month when the District Attorney’s Office is expected to hire away 14 more San Diego police detectives.
I personally know many of these detectives who will be departing soon and I must say, we are losing some of our best. These detectives work Homicide, Gangs, Narcotics, Sex Crimes and Vice – and that’s why the district attorney wants them. They are not only some of our best detectives, but they are also some of our best trainers of new detectives.
In reality, closing a criminal investigation is as much an art as it is a science and can only be taught by those you have experiences working similar cases. Solving cases like last week’s Mission Beach home invasion sexual assault doesn’t happen by accident. They’re solved by very talented detectives that know how to run with a lead and get confessions from suspects. It’s a skill that takes time and experience to develop.
Sadly, it appears we will continue to lose many of our best to other law enforcement agencies. I believe the citizens of this city should be concerned with that fact.
Please call your elected representatives and let them know you are concerned and want it to stop. Please support your San Diego police officers.