FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – In Fresno, COVID-19 cases have led to staffing shortages at the Fresno Police Department, but public safety isn’t a concern.
Lieutenant Bill Dooley with the Fresno Police Department says they had 143 members out because of COVID, but because several of them have returned back to work, the number of officers out is down to 118.
With those officers still on leave due to COVID-related health issues, the Fresno Police Department is doing all it can to keep the streets safe.
The department is already facing a staffing crisis, officers are currently working huge amounts of overtime to keep the entire city covered, and with COVID impacting personnel, things aren’t getting any easier.
“We already have a significant call load, we have a very large city, we have a lot of calls for service and when we’re impacted this way because of COVID, it puts a lot of strain on those who are healthy,” says Lt. Dooley.
The department says their doing the best with the officers they have available.
“In some cases, we’re having to order back officers that have days off, and we look for those who volunteer first, rather than mandatory ordering backs on some officers,” says Lt. Dooley.
When it comes to calls for service, Lt. Dooley says emergency, crimes in progress, or serious crimes will not be impacted.
“We’re adjusting, we’re making things work and this will blow over at some point,” says Lt. Dooley.
In terms of morale within the police department, Lieutenant Dooley says stress is high, but officers are committed to serving the public as best they can.