New numbers show police manpower worsening in Atlanta

- The city of Atlanta is 400 officers short of authorized strength, according to the union that represents the officers.

Leaders of the union said the mayor and city council need to take steps to encourage veteran cops to stay and woo new officers to select Atlanta.

In the last order, a chief's document on personnel movement inside the department, another eleven officers resigned in July.

Attrition has long been a problem. The union's Ken Allen said the department is at a tipping point.

He cites an independent review of police pay which sets out long-term fixes for the department.

Before that report was released, the mayor and council pushed through a 3-percent pay hike.

But officers, who have seen smaller departments pay their employees more, are unhappy with the increase.

Allen believes a much stronger effort needs to be pushed to show officers they are wanted.

Allen's accounting of available full-time officers does not include 85 recruits who at this time cannot answer 911 calls.

The real number, according to the union, is approximately 1,600. Atlanta's authorized strength is 2,024.

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