Hastings Police Department experiencing staffing shortages

Hastings Police Department experiencing staffing shortages
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Staffing shortages are continuing to affect businesses and services across the country. In central Nebraska, local police departments are feeling the wrath of these issues as well.

Hastings Police Department is experiencing some of these widespread staffing shortages. Police Captain Mike Doremus said they are doing what they can to ensure they’re providing the same services they always have. He says they first started going through a staffing shortage recently, between late September and early October.

Doremus said the reason for the shortage is because HPD had a few of their staff members sent on military leave, some out of the office for medical reasons and others having to call in due to illnesses.

He added, although they haven’t had a day where they didn’t have enough people on duty, they have had to take some alternative routes to keep on top of the matter.

“Some of the ways we’ve overcome these shortages is to maybe grab an investigator, have them come back and work the street in uniform for a shift or two. Maybe bring somebody from a fully-staffed night shift to a short-staffed day shifts for a couple shifts,” he said.

He continued to say, they were taking the necessary steps to fill the shifts above the number of minimum staffing levels each day.

“That way, we can continue to respond to calls for service, we can still provide traffic enforcement, we’re not limiting any type of enforcement activity that we typically would do during this time — it’s just getting that manpower, making the adjustments from shift to shift so we can continue to provide those services,” he said.

He added, staff members, such as investigators, who occasionally had to fill in for a patrol officer could be a bit hesitant to step into another position for a shift, but, he continued — usually once they put the uniform on and felt comfortable once again, they tend to enjoy it.

Additionally, for the first time in a number of years, HPD was able to add on a couple officer positions to their department staff. At the time this article was written, Doremus said they were working through an active list of candidates and were no longer accepting applications.

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