Capt. Bob Kanaski, in charge of human resources at the San Diego Police Department, has been quick to stress to me that the department is not burying its heads in the sand when it comes to hiring and retaining police officers.

Kanaski has told me that the Police Department is actively pursuing six recommendations that were handed down by the City Council last year. He said those recommendations were one of the first things he looked at when he took his post last July, and that he considers them goals to work toward.

According to a report to the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee by Police Chief William Lansdowne and Homeland Security Director Jill Olen, the police have made progress on a number of those recommendations.

However, according to the report, despite “significant progress” in recruiting, the issue of retention continues to be “disturbing.”

The report has a number of interesting facets, some of which I will look at in future articles. In particular, the Police Department has made a few bureaucratic changes that Kanaski said he hopes will continue to draw in new recruits to the department.

For example, the Police Department has been changing its testing procedures. The department requires all potential recruits to complete a written test as their first stage in the recruitment process, and it recently introduced a once-monthly evening test that is held in addition to two daytime tests. The next evening test will be held on April 18 at 6 p.m. in the City Administration Building, 202 C Street.

The department also has plans afoot to shorten the written test and to change the location where it is held in order to accommodate more applicants.

I’ll be digging into the new testing procedures and a few of the other recommendations that the department is pursuing in future stories so anyone who has an opinion on them, please get in touch.


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