BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The City of Bakersfield is continuing to grow and expand, which is causing a greater need for officers.
The Bakersfield Police Department states they need more manpower to meet demands.
On Wednesday, 23ABC reported that Barrington's Jamaican Kitchen, off of Ming Ave. was burglarized over the weekend.
After calling BPD twice, in three days, the department was unable to send officers out due to a lack of resources.
On Thursday as of 6 p.m. officers have now taken a full report of the incident for an investigation.
Sgt. Nathan McCauley, spokesperson for the Bakersfield Police Department says, this is an ongoing issue they are working to address.
"I am not happy as being a part of this organization knowing that we would have calls hold for 3-to-4 days on any kind of call," McCauley said. "I would like to go to any of these right away, but we have to deploy the resources appropriately."
According to BPD, the force serves nearly half a million people in the City of Bakersfield with just 370 officers.
Despite this being the largest the department has ever been, BPD says they are still in need of additional resources.
"We need to be able to hire more officers, pay them and equip them," McCauley said. "That’s where this money is coming from Measure N, the sales tax that was added. "It brings in several million more into the city, that is used for all of these expansions."
One solution to this problem, McCauley adds, is getting more recruitment and keeping retention rates high.
On Thursday, 26 cadets graduated from the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy.
McCauley explains, this class is the first group to go through the new training center, which was made possible due to Measure N funds.
One cadet, David Hepp, says he felt a calling to serve.
"When I think about this opportunity I don’t think about it as a job or career," said Hepp."It's not only a lifestyle, but it is a part of the family you are protecting and the community you care about."
Hepp says that he chose to serve in Bakersfield because this is where he can contribute daily to helping others.
In addition to serving the community, McCauley states there are several incentives to working for BPD.
Some of these include tuition reimbursement for courses, technology advancement, and a $3,000 signing bonus.
McCauley says that further recruitment would assist a unit that needs the most attention.
"We have needs throughout the department, but I think that our patrol units, having more officers available, and more officers to respond to calls; I think that’s going to have the most immediate impact," McCauley said.
The department is expecting to have 23 more cadets to start training on Monday.
According to BPD's three-year plan, they hope to have 100 additional officers.
McCauley says they are constantly looking for recruits and to be on the lookout for the next available academy session which is scheduled for spring. For more information on becoming an officer through BPD, follow this link.