D.C. police force shrinking, in danger of 'falling behind,' due to retiring and departing officers

Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the police department is going to fall behind as more and more officers, retire, leave for other opportunities. Photo: ABC 7 file

WASHINGTON (AP) - A significant increase in retirements and departures of some young officers could leave the District of Columbia with a severe shortage of police officers as the city continues to grow.

The Washington Post reports hundreds of officers who joined the force during a hiring binge 25 years ago are at or near retirement age.

At the same time, younger officers are leaving the D.C. police force for better pay with suburban police departments or cite complaints with the city bureaucracy.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the department is going to fall behind. She says she is hiring 300 officers a year, which is the maximum she can with her budget and training resources. The department has nearly 4,000 officers, and Lanier says it should not get much smaller.

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