Houston officials announce ‘drive for 500’ to boost police force

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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The Houston Police Department reportedly plans to grow its ranks by 500 officers over the next five years.

“I think it’s no secret that the Houston Police Department has been doing more with less for far too long,” Houston Police Officer’s Union President Joe Gamaldi said in a press conference Wednesday. “But that ends today.”

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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo recently called for more officers as well, saying the city has 2,000 fewer police officers on the street than it should.

The plan, called the “drive for 500,” was signed by Mayor Sylvester Turner and city council members.

Factoring in the department’s attrition rate of 260 officers a year, Gamaldi said at the press conference they hope to hire 360 per year. This would lead to a conservative estimate of 500 total new officers on the Houston police force at the end of the next five years.

The plan also includes six academy classes to be trained over the next five fiscal years, according to Gamaldi.

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