The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

With city growth, departments call for more police officers

Photo by Tanner Garza
University, Bryan and College Station police departments have expressed the need for more officers.
 
Photo by Tanner Garza University, Bryan and College Station police departments have expressed the need for more officers.  

A Growing population in Bryan-College Station has local police authorities looking to increase their staffs.
Robert Meyer, assistant police chief with the University Police Department, said with an increased student population, calls for service have increased as well.
Meyer said UPD is understaffed across the board, but said staffing levels ultimately depend on the budget.
“We’re understaffed across all levels,” Meyer said. “We’ve asked for that in the next budget cycle, but of course we’ll just have to wait and see if we’re going to be granted that extra budget or not.”
Scott McCollum, interim police chief for the City of College Station, said College Station police try to track and project the population in order to best allocate resources, but said it’s not just police officers who make up these staff increases.
“We develop strategic plans, and what we try to do is project where we need to be on a given fiscal year and we try to plan out the needs of those resources accordingly,” McCollum said. “But beyond that there’s a lot of support staff that support the officers out on the street, so we have to be mindful of that as well to make sure we have a sufficient support staff to also support those first-line officers that you see out on the street.”
McCollum said CSPD is looking into expanding its system by adding a new computerized dispatch system to utilize updated technology. Another project is to expand the department’s physical workspace.
“We’re also working on a new addition to our current facility so we’ll have the space and availability and the resources we need to get the job done for an expanding workforce,” McCollum said.
Eric Buske, police chief for the Bryan Police Department, said the need for more staff reflects not only an increase in students but an increase in Bryan-College Station residents as a whole.
“As an example, we’re adding two officers this year [and] we added two officers last year,” Buske said. “That kind of growth probably reflects the city’s growth, too, to a point.” Buske said. “If you look at the statistics you know Texas as a state is growing very, very fast and within Texas Bryan-College Station is growing very, very quickly also.”
Buske said policing is not as simple an issue as blindly hiring more staff. A multitude of factors must be considered, he said.
“All time is not equal in policing,” Buske said. “We have to look at our peak times and our non-peak times. There’s a lot of matrix that goes into all those things to make sure we’re staffed appropriately.”
All three area departments are accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, CALEA, an international law enforcement accreditation agency. UPD recently earned the distinction, a process Meyer said helped UPD look analytically at its data to determine adequate staffing levels and justify the need for more staff.
“CALEA requires us to do studies on our staffing and the amount of workload studies for each position,” Meyer said. “They require us to take an analytical look at it rather than just going, ‘Well, I think we need more [officers].’”
McCollum said that while having more staff is helpful, it’s the community that does the best job of keeping streets safe and neighborhoods free of crime.
“We’ve done some pretty amazing work at the hands of citizens just making a phone call,” McCollum said. “If we have that accountability at that citizen level to say, ‘Hey, I’m watching out for my neighbors,’ you can’t beat that. That’s going to be a great way to keep criminal activity out of your area.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *