ATLANTA - FOX 5 has learned Atlanta police officers sometimes are pulled away from their neighborhood patrols to watch over suspects who require medical treatment at the hospital.
And it is not a one-time shift of critical manpower.
"When I first heard about this, I was shocked," said Ursula Shields, a resident.
"We already have a shortage of manpower. To use officers in this way is mind-boggling to me."
Chief Rodney Bryant does not want to do this.
The problem goes back to resources at the downtown city jail, which has been downsized with anticipation the mayor will close it.
The monitoring of hospitalized inmates is the responsibility of city corrections officers. But when the jail staff has shortages, the officer who makes an arrest must stay with the injured or ill inmate until someone can replace him or her. And that can be another cop on the next shift.
When this happens, citizens in the neighborhood do not have their beat officer.
Councilman Michael Bond, who discussed the issue at this week's public safety meeting, asked for a briefing from the Jail chief to see how he will address his manpower issues.