Hiring up, attrition down for Gwinnett County police

Hiring is up and attrition is slowing down at the Gwinnett County Police Department, Chief Butch Ayers said this week.

“Everything that was done is working,” he said, referencing recent pay raises and reimagined recruiting efforts, among other things.

The work, though, is far from done.

During a Wednesday morning presentation for county officials and a budget review committee, Ayers laid out his department’s proposed 2019 business plan. It included asking for funding for 42 new positions — 30 sworn officers among them. 

RELATED: Gwinnett sheriff’s office asks for money to create 105 new positions

The Gwinnett County Police Department — Georgia’s third largest — currently has only about 721 of its 848 authorized sworn positions filled. But that actually marks a bit of an improvement

For one, the current number of vacancies includes 36 positions to staff the department’s new Bay Creek precinct, which won’t open for another year or so.

Another note: The department projects to hire 130 officers in 2018, while losing only 65. That’s by far the most hires  since at least 2011, as well as the largest margin in favor of additions in recent years for the department. The agency lost more people than it hired as recently as 2016.

Ayers credited the payraises approved last year for county law enforcement officers — which amounted to 7 percent increases — with helping retain and attract officers. Additional increases for specialized units also helps, he said, and so have the department’s rejuvenated recruiting efforts. 

The agency has participated in more than 75 job fairs since the start of 2017. It has hosted seven hiring events in the last year, in locales ranging from Lawrenceville to Rochester, New York, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. 

Applications received are up nearly 50 percent compared to 2016. 

“We have the momentum with us, and we can’t let up,” Ayers said. 

The positions requested to be included in the county’s 2019 budget include 30 master police officers (a new, recently created rank for experienced officers), an evidence technician and a crime scene specialist. It would all cost north of $4.2 million for the first year. 

Ayers said the new positions would put the department at 1.059 officers per 1,000 residents served (at least if all of the positions were eventually filled). The goal is 1.1.

In other Gwinnett news: 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Georgia dental board inaction could leave patients at risk
Georgia dental board inaction could leave patients at risk

The Brantley County woman went in to have three teeth pulled. After a bad reaction to sedation, she experienced a deadly medical condition that stopped the oxygen from reaching her blood and lungs. She died in the hospital nine days later. To hear her dentist tell it, he tried to save her life. The Georgia Board of Dentistry said his care led...
Grieving Indiana family upset with botched burial
Grieving Indiana family upset with botched burial

Members of an Indiana family said they are unable to grieve properly because their relative has not been buried nearly two weeks after his funeral, WXIN reported. >> Read more trending news  Louis Meador, 62, died Sept. 1 and his funeral was six days later, the television station reported. Several days of rain prevented Meador&rsquo...
Buford Highway mostly re-opened in Gwinnett after water main leak
Buford Highway mostly re-opened in Gwinnett after water main leak

A 1.1-mile stretch of Buford Highway in Gwinnett County was closed for emergency water main repairs Thursday afternoon, according to an alert sent by the county Department of Transportation.  The county’s water department began repairs on a water main leak, but found the leak wasn’t as bad as anticipated, county spokesman Joe Sorenson...
Texas bride paralyzed in boogie board accident in Hawaii
Texas bride paralyzed in boogie board accident in Hawaii

A Texas woman’s dream honeymoon in Hawaii earlier this month turned nightmarish when she was paralyzed in a freak boogie boarding accident, KXAS reported. >> Read more trending news  Nikki Lewis and Will Lewis were married Sept. 8 in a destination wedding on Maui. Days later, the couple and some friends were at the beach. While...
Georgia Southern student’s death in March was drug-related, GBI says
Georgia Southern student’s death in March was drug-related, GBI says

The March death of a 22-year-old Georgia Southern University student from DeKalb County was drug-related, according to a GBI autopsy. Bradley Frietas, a Decatur High graduate, died of accidental acute heroin and fentanyl toxicity, a GBI medical examiner determined. “There is no suspicion of foul play” in Frietas’ death, GBI spokeswoman...
More Stories