The police chief in Irving is addressing staff shortages by reassigning officers out of vice and narcotics and by making the SWAT team part-time.
A third of the officers on the vice and narcotics beat will be moved to patrol, traffic and investigations. But some are concerned those moves could hurt proactive policing.
Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey said the decision to reassign narcotics officers was a tough call.
“We continued to lose people to retirement and resignation,” Spivey said. “It got to the point where I was uncomfortable with the staffing levels of some of our core responsibilities."
Irving's population is growing and attracting new venues like Toyota Music Factory in Las Colinas. The chief plans to add a beat to patrol that and other areas. To adjust for the changes, the SWAT team will be part time so tactical officers are available on an on call basis.
Spivey said the same good economy that's bringing the growth is also hurting recruitment efforts.
"I don't know that it is as attractive job as it used to be, certainly with the economy being as strong as it is, you can make really good money and not have to work nights, weekends, shift work. Not have to put your life on the line day in and day out,” Spivey said.
Spivey says the new size of the Irving narcotics unit is similar to cities like Garland, Grand Prairie and Plano.