In yet another press release concerning the mayor's strategy towards crime, we learn that the mayor is instructing the police department to step up recruitment efforts:
Mayor Ellen Moyer is asking Annapolis Police Chief Joseph Johnson to expand his Department's recruiting efforts. She is requesting that he augment current department-based recruiting efforts with a committee that will act as ambassadors and positive advocates for the police department.
The committee shall consist of:
-Kimla Milburn: Human Resources Director
-Ray Weaver: Public Information Officer
-Dave Cordle, Alderman Ward 5, Public Safety Committee
-Ross Arnett, Alderman Ward 8, Public Safety Committee
-Sheila Finlayson, Alderman Ward 4, Public Safety Committee
-A Partridge In a Pear Tree
The mayor took some time to hit on her two favorite police quotes:
"In speaking with my colleagues from around the country, it is evident that we are all facing a tremendous challenge in recruiting police officers," she (Ms. Milburn) said.
The Annapolis Police Department currently maintains a ratio of 3 officers per 1000 residents. The national average is 1 officer per 1000 residents.
Now I will take time for my two favorite standard responses:
We are not facing a recruiting shortage.
The ratio does not matter because we have a lot of public housing, we are a maritime city, and we are a Capital city.
The mayor thinks that word-of-mouth 'advertising' is the best way to recruit, and she admonished the media and letter-to-the-editor writers for saying negative things about the department.
Umm, madam mayor, remember when you said this:
The first thing I get hit with when I get back in town after meeting with our sister cities is "We've got a crime problem. We've got a crime problem. We've got a crime problem."
It is only because we wrote letters to the editor that you even knew we had a problem....you were too busy on sister city business.
More importantly, does this press release mean the mayor is committed to filling the 23 vacancies on the police department? Tough to tell. If so, this will be the first time she has pledged to do so. But somehow, I doubt it.