The Fairfax County Police Department is under a personnel emergency amid a staffing shortage that has continued for several months.
In a temporary shift, police officers are transitioning to two 12.5-hour shifts and working mandatory overtime, according to the FCPD. That departs from the standard staffing model of three 11.5-hour shifts.
Additionally, patrol officers “may be required” to help other squads to maintain safe staffing levels, FCPD told FFXnow.
So far, the police department has 194 operational vacancies, but that does not account for 50 recruits currently in the police academy. That leaves 144 total vacancies.
“We have launched a multi-media recruiting campaign this summer with updates videos on our new JoinFCPD.org website,” a spokesperson said.
Some say the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has failed to provide adequate salary increases and other incentives to attract and retain the county’s police force.
While officers saw an average pay increase of nearly 8% in this fiscal year, beginning July 1, pay scale steps were frozen between fiscal years 2019 and 2021.
“The salary increases that some officers received this fiscal year doesn’t make up for what was previously promised to them,” Steve Manohan, president of the county’s chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association said. “Keep in mind, there were hundreds of officers who only received a 4% cost of living increase in fiscal year 2022.”
Board Chairman Jeff McKay says the board is working with FCPD to recruit and retain officers, noting that Chief Kevin Davis has a plan to reach out across the county, region and nationwide — including non-traditional means like advertisements at movie theaters. The department has also reduced the length of its application and background information requirements in an effort to streamline the process.
“All of this is done to position FCPD as an exciting and meaningful career choice for those who may have a calling for public service,” McKay wrote in a statement.
McKay says the county is looking at different ways to support officers as staffing adjustments continue.
“The Fairfax County Police Department is a top destination for anyone who wants to serve their community, and we will continue to get that message out while also exploring ways to maintain our regional competitiveness in compensation and job satisfaction,” he said. “Like with all municipalities during this pandemic era there is much work to be done, but our team–and especially our officers–are up to the task, and we are here to support them 100%.”
Still, Manohan says more must be done to address the “exodus” of police officers from the county.
“Our board maintains that a three-step decompression of the pay scale, or 15% pay raise is a reasonable and good faithed effort to stop the exodus of officers from leaving the department and makes an honest investment of the public safety of Fairfax County,” Manohan said.
Part of that hiring commitment includes increasing the number of women in the police. By 2030, the police department hopes that at least 30% of its workforce will consist of female police officers.
“An internal look at retention are all aspects of a multifaceted approach to returning to our complete staffing model,” the spokesperson said.
High vacancy rates have plagued the public safety sector across the country. In Fairfax County, the sheriff’s office has been affected as well.
Manohan says the time to act is now.
“With nearly 200 operational vacancies within the department, violent crime increasing, and officers being forced to work longer hours; the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has failed to address the serious issues concerning the rank and file of our department,” he wrote in a statement to FFXnow.
The FCPD reported an overall drop in crime last year compared to 2020, though there was an uptick in homicides.
It’s unclear when staffing will resume to normal operations, according to the FCPD. The department did not provide specific information on how staffing shortages may impact service, shifts, hours, and the composition of police units.
Good Friday evening! Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 6621 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…
Lake Anne’s plaza will once again spring to life this summer with concerts. Lake Anne Live! — an event series that kicked off last year — brings Thursday evening concerts…
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Are you ready for summer? Live Fairfax has a bucket list of indoor activities, outdoor escapades and trips to explore this summer.
Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road