PARK CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Understaffed and overworked, that’s how Park City Police Chief Phil Bostian describes the state of his department.
“We can’t continue to provide the same level of service with that scenario,” says Bostian.
Since two positions were cut in 2012, the department is down to 17 available sworn officer positions.
Chief Bostian says they have 14, but when you factor in himself and the other lieutenants, who aren’t on the street, they have just 10 officers on the street. Just to keep the minimum of two on the street, per shift, he says his officers are having to come in on their off days.
This comes at a bad time.
Since 2015, the crime rate, based on a scale of per 1,000 residents, rose from 24.3 to 30.4. The second highest in the county behind Wichita.
Property crime rose from 21.3 in 2015, to 28.5 in 2016, also the second highest behind Wichita.
Between 2105 and 2016 thefts went from 121-166.
If that’s not enough already, in 2016 his officers responded to just over 9,000, 911 calls. That’s 1,900 less than Haysville which has nearly 3,000 more residents.
“Our officers are so busy responding to calls and doing the other things associated with those reports, and calls, they don’t have time to do the proactive policing and community policing we need to do and would like to do,” explains Bostian.
He says he has three positions to fill, but is having a hard time finding quality applicants.
“I am not happy about it at all, not proud of it, I want to change it, I want to get crime down but also want people to know that this is where we are at,” says Bostian.
Bostian says even with one officer just graduating from the police academy and another already in field training, they are still three positions short.