I'm going to use this as my "rough draft" for some points I want to make to our community. When it's finished and cleaned up, it'll be a letter to the editor.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank three very fine young men for their several years of self-sacrificing service to our community. CF, BP and RS just left W police department. C and B were both new to W, while R was born and raised here. They've all left in the last couple of months to pursue their law enforcement careers elsewhere. They've moved on to agencies where they will receive better pay at PD's where they will not be working for the lowest paying department in the county. They will be participating now in retirement programs where they won't have to worry about an income during their retirement years.
WPD's full staffing is ten officers and three sergeants. We now have three sgts., six officers and one trainee. Of the six officers, two are in background for other agencies and could easily be gone within a month. Unfortunately, when there are so few officers, everyone else has to work more hours to take up the slack. Sixty to seventy hour work weeks become the norm rather than the exception.
Counting C, B and R, we've lost 11 officers in the last four years. Thankfully, of those 11, 2 came back within a year. When we lost the others, JL, JS, EB, TS, JA, and JB, we lost a combined 36 years worth of experience. We lost two of the three people within the department with extensive investigative training and experience. We have one now. These officers, with their years of experience, and their proactive community based involvement, are missed every single day. Their departure was a terrible loss to our police department and to our community. B, C and R, we will miss you, too.