OPD Police Chief Timothy Burton said the Police Department's staffing fluctuation in 2011 was partially due to workers seeking higher wages.
"It began with the escalation of the local economy," Burton
"It becomes attractive for some folks to seek employment elsewhere because of the monetary compensation they can receive."
Of the 16 vacancies in Burton's department, five are sworn in positions and the rest are civilian positions such as crime scene technicians, animal control and clerks.
said it's easy for sworn in officers to get recruited to the oil industry, because they have been "prescreened."
"They're reliable, high trained and capable personnel," Burton
"So if the (oil) industry can attract them away from us, they have folks prepped and quickly trained for whatever capacities they've hire you for."
said with the high degree of training required at the Police Department, vacancies do have an effect on services.
said that it's "difficult to categorize exact impacts" in the department.
"Even fully staffed, we try to run at the most efficient level possible.
Any reduction has some marginal effect," Burton
said the OPD
does have pending hires being screened.
Positions can be filled rapidly, but training periods for new staff do affect the time when they can start work, Burton
"As we speak, any time we have vacancies, we're engaged in a hiring process," Burton