KTRK-13 reports that a new HPD cadet class got started today:
The city of Houston enlisted 40 new police cadets Monday morning.
At a time the city finds itself in great need, it will take six months to make the cadets officers. The class is smaller than expected. The city had 70 slots open, but is having a tough time finding applicants.
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said, “We’re trying to get 70 and it’s been very difficult because there’s a lot of competition out there. A lot of major departments as well as smaller departments are all out recruiting because they need to add more people.”
A full cadet class costs the city more than $3 million. Next year Houston will have five cadet classes. The costs add up quickly. Upon graduation, with salary and benefits, each officer costs the city $65,000 a year.
It’s disappointing that the class was only slightly over half full, now that the city finally is addressing the problem.
Councilmember Adrian Garcia lets loose with a whopper at the end:
“We have continuously found ways to prioritize our investment in public safety. Our public is asking for it,” said Houston Councilman Adrian Garcia. “The issue becomes, you know, that we got to figure out how to afford it.”
Continuously? Now Councilmember, that’s not quite true. It’s good that HPD’s manpower shortage is finally commanding some attention, but that’s only come about recently. And judging from this disappointing recruiting effort, it’s going to need more attention.