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Bloomington police union questions staffing for neighborhoods facing annexation

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 19:34:40-04

BLOOMINGTON — Annexation continues to be a hot topic in Bloomington with some residents welcoming it while others don't.

The Bloomington City Council will again take up the issue Wednesday night, while the city's police union is raising concerns about staffing for the neighborhoods targeted for annexation.

The Bloomington Police Department consists of more than 90 officers who serve 85,000 people.

"When you look to citizens and stuff, they think 20-25 cops are working at any point in Bloomington when the reality is that there are 6-8. That's a lot of weight on 6-8," union president Paul Post said.

The police union said based on current calls for help and staffing, the department is stretched thin and officers are often asked to work overtime.

"It used to be that officers start to hit the wall at 10-15 years. We are now seeing that at 2-3 years. Officers are like I'm going to start looking for another job. You've only been here for a couple of years. What do yo mean your looking to another job?" Post said.

Elected leaders have also expressed concerns about current and future police staffing, which played out at last week's city council meeting.

"The administration and the police chief and team have seriously looked at what it will take," Mayor John Hamilton said. "Of course, it gives us three years to do that. We will be working with you to make sure we have the protection, and we are confident we can do that."

City officials said there is a plan to add up to 40 sworn and non-sworn officers to cover the annexed areas after January 2024 when the annexation is set to become official.

Still up in the air is when police officers would be hired, though the exact number will depend on the number of neighborhoods that are added to the city limits.

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