LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Like many agencies around the Commonwealth and around the country, the Lynchburg Police Department is experiencing unprecedented staffing challenges, resulting in numerous transfers within the department.
As of Monday, Oct. 11, the department says it has 28 vacant sworn officer positions.
Meanwhile, police say their top priority is to answer calls for service from Lynchburg community members and visitors, which means the department needs to have enough staff members on patrol to accomplish this task.
In order to guarantee consistent service, officials say the department made several staffing changes on Wednesday, Oct. 6 that will remain in effect until further notice.
According to authorities, these changes include temporarily transferring 11 officers from several specialized functions — such as the Traffic Safety Unit, School Resource Officers (SROs), the Intelligence Unit, and the Community Action Team — back to the Field Operations Bureau to serve as patrol officers.
However, the department says two sergeants have been moved to Linkhorne Middle School and Dunbar Middle School to replace the SROs who are now back in patrol, making sure that all Lynchburg public schools have appropriate coverage.
This is a short-term attempt to address our staffing challenges and will affect service delivery provided by some specialized units. LPD officers continue to serve our community with dedication and compassion under trying circumstances as our department struggles to meet community needs with a disproportionate level of staffing. The past 18 months have challenged our profession in ways we never expected – our officers have managed increased demands for service coupled with the mental health crisis, significant police reform, and serving at the forefront of a global pandemic with resiliency and maturity.
The LPD is working with City staff to develop a comprehensive, long-term solution to address recruitment and retention challenges currently affecting the department and our ability to meet the growing expectations of our community.Statement from the Lynchburg Police Department on Oct. 11, 2021
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