The City of Brookhaven is estimated to have a population of about 50,000. So how many police officers does it need in its own police department?
Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult, the expert member of the Governor's Commission on Brookhaven's Police Committee, said he estimates that Brookhaven will need to begin with about 50 to 58 police officers.
Sult explained that population of an area is not the sole factor to consider when determining the size of a police department. The square miles of the area served, along with the average calls for service and crime rates and type of crimes should also be considered.
No matter how many officers Brookhaven hires initially, Sult stressed that it's important to not "overhire."
“It’s easier to (eventually) hire more people. It’s much more difficult to get rid of them once you hire them. That’s not the precedent you want to set to brand new police officers that are coming in," Sult told the police committee members at their Wednesday meeting. "You’ll ruin your reputation, and they’ll think it’s not a stable environment for them to come to work in. You won’t get the quality people you want into the city.”
However, at least one volunteer present at the meeting disagreed with Sult.
Ashford Park Civic Association President Ronnie Mayer was vocal about his desire for Brookhaven to begin with at least 75 officers in its police department.
“To go back to the city council to ask for more money for police is like breaking your arm…We need to start with 75 officers because we have the demographics of Smyrna,” Mayer said. “This little thing on Buford Highway– it is (full of) thugs; it is (filled with) gangs. It is murders.”
What do you think? How many officers should the Brookhaven Police Department have at its start? Tell us below in the comments.