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Law enforcement officers leave departments at incredible speed

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Several days this week, members of local law enforcement received news that their colleague had been killed or injured on the job.

Early Sunday morning, County 5 Cpl Harris County. Charles Galloway was shot and killed while stopping his car.

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Less than 24 hours later, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez was stabbed and killed by a suspected drunk driver while he was working as a traffic controller for an oversized truck on the Beltway.

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Thursday afternoon, three Houston police officers were shot after a suspect opened fire during a chase.

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“That’s what some members who know (Gutierrez) said, ‘This is only different because it could be one of us,'” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a Thursday night vigil for his co-pilot. me. “There are so many different threats these days, whether it’s the driving conditions we’ve heard about, road rage, heavy weapons, these automatic switches. It’s very challenging right now. .”

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The Police Executive Research Forum surveyed 194 agencies nationwide last year about their workforce trends.

The responses show that the number of people resigning increased by 18% from 2020 to 2021 compared with 2019 to 2020. During the same time period, the number of retirees increased by 45%, but hiring decreased by 5%. .

“We’ve had a few officers leave the department and take another job because they knew it would be safer, but they wouldn’t be vilified by the people,” said Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Association. like we are now.”

Our team of 13 Investigators found that most officers who have left HPD in the past few years have left the profession. Only 15 percent are still licensed through the Texas Law Enforcement Commission.

Griffith estimates the HPD is short of about 2,000 officers.

“We have 300 fewer cars today than we did in 1998,” says Griffith. “The sad thing is that the government here has done a great job. They gave us extra lessons, but we couldn’t fill it. full of those classes. We graduated a class with only 43 students. We’ll never keep up with such attrition.”

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Dais Johnston

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