Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

ANNAPOLIS/SANDY POINT --

March 05, 1993

Annapolis to hire 16 police recruits

Annapolis is planning to hire 16 police recruits in the wake of a string of resignations that have depleted the city's small force in the last year.

The City Council's Finance Committee approved yesterday the department's recommendation to hire officers starting next month. The full council is to vote on the recommendation Monday.

"It is critical to our staffing requirements that we take advantage of this opportunity and provide the maximum number of new recruits possible," Chief Harold Robbins wrote in a memo urging the committee's approval.

Chief Robbins already has selected the candidates to enter thAnne Arundel County Police Academy in two weeks. The training program begins March 15 and will last some 20 weeks.

The first graduates are to be on the streets by fall, said AssistanChief Joseph S. Johnson.

"This will give us the availability to do a lot more in terms of traffienforcement and other programs that we have had to make a lot of adjustment in to fill out the patrol units," he said.

DIn the last year, one police officer after another has left the city department, many of them complaining they were stuck in a dead-end job and disillusioned about the prospects for change. The force of 121 sworn officers has shrunk to 106 and is expected to go even lower as four more police veterans retire.

The city's Community Oriented Police Squad, a back-to-basics foot patrol program, has shrunk from 13 officers to four. Chief Johnson said the program will be beefed up as soon as the new recruits join the orce.

At least one Hispanic candidate is being considered, and a number of blacks and women were hired, Mr. Johnson said.

Hiring the 16 recruits will add one more position, at a cost of $24,000, to the police department's annual budget. It also will cost an additional $20,000 for clothing and equipment.

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