Monday, July 30, 2001

Recruits are easing
HPD shortage

But shortages worsen in mainland cities

Star-Bulletin staff

At a time when some police departments across the country are experiencing what they call a personnel crisis, the Honolulu Police Department says recruiting classes have started to ease a shortage of uniformed officers that began in 1994, when 147 veterans took advantage of an early-retirement option.

This year, the department scaled back its recruiting classes to three from four because it is catching up with attrition, Maj. Glen Kajiyama said last month.

There are 51 recruits in the department's 139th recruit class, which started in June.

More than 600 people submitted applications to take part in the next class, which begins in December.

"Even though we're catching up, we're still looking for qualified applicants," said Kajiyama of the HPD's Human Resources Division.

An initial review of the applications usually reveals that many are not qualified. Of the remaining applicants, only 10 percent who take the police exam pass.

"Our target is 60 per recruit class," Kajiyama said.

Attrition averages about 119 per year, Kajiyama said, adding that two classes a year should keep up with attrition, and the third class will address the shortage.

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