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APD is hiring; reports attrition rate has dropped significantly last four years

Number of officers leaving annually drops to 4.2 percent in 2011. The first of three upcoming job fairs is set for Monday, Sept. 17.

By Patch Staff

The Atlanta Police Department is hosting a series of career fairs this month at its Public Safety Headquarters in downtown Atlanta. APD is looking for dedicated, community-minded individuals to join our ranks of sworn officers, and become part of our force for positive change in Atlanta.

The career fairs will take place on:

  • Monday, Sept. 17
  • Monday, Sept. 24
  • Saturday, Sept. 29

Interviews and testing will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m., 226 Peachtree Street SW, 2nd floor. Please arrive dressed in business attire with a valid photo government-issued identification card. Anyone arriving after 8 a.m. will not be admitted. Please be prepared to be in attendance for at least six hours. Plan accordingly and come early. For additional information please visit www.joinatlantapd.org

Meanwhile, APD recently announced that its attrition rate has dropped significantly over a four-year period. It has improved attrition rates by two percentage points since 2008, greatly reducing the number of sworn officers leaving the department annually. 

An audit recently conducted by the City Auditor’s Office found that the number of officers leaving the Department for reasons other than retirement has steadily declined since 2008, reaching a low of 4.2 percent of the total sworn force in 2011. In 2008, the attrition rate stood at 6.2 percent. It has subsequently decreased every year:

  • 2008: 6.2 percent
  • 2009: 5.7 percent
  • 2010: 4.8 percent
  • 2011: 4.2 percent

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner attributes the reduction in the attrition rate to a commitment by Mayor Kasim Reed to public safety, improved morale within the department, and an aggressive campaign in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation to focus on recruitment and retention.

“We have worked diligently to make sure the Atlanta Police Department is a best-in-class force, where officers join to receive competitive pay and benefits, top training and advancement opportunities for the long-term,” said Chief Turner in a statement. “The Atlanta Police Foundation has also been instrumental in helping us make sure officers join APD, and stay.”

The City Auditor’s Office noted that it had recommended to APD in 2008 that it focus on retention efforts, particularly to officers with five years of less of experience.

Mayor Reed, who has championed public safety as a top issue for his administration, applauded the reduction in attrition. 

“I’m pleased that more of our officers are deciding to build long-term careers with the Atlanta Police Department,” said Reed in a release. “I believe this reflects the commitment my Administration has made to make public safety our top priority. Over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve hired more than 650 new officers, given sworn personnel a raise, opened the Operation Shield Video Integration Center and made significant investments in technology. Moving forward, we’ll continue to invest in the department and our men and women on the police force.”

The Department has hired 655 officers since Mayor Reed took office. Mayor Reed and the City Council have also provided funding to allow the Department to grow to a sworn authorized strength of 2,000 – the most in its history.

The Atlanta Police Foundation has generously funded several initiatives aimed at increasing officer retention, including scholarships for officers to further their education, advanced training opportunities in cutting edge police tactics and advanced crime-fighting techniques, and financial incentives to encourage officers to live inside the city limits.

"These successes are a direct result of a shared vision for a safer city," said Dave Wilkinson, President and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, which was instrumental in developing the strategy to reduce attrition. "We have a mayor committed to public safety and a police chief committed to best practices in every area of policing. They are committed to working with the APF to identify and execute critical programs that develop, engage and invest in our officers to create a stronger, more efficient, best-in-class police force."

A full-service police agency, the Department has adopted a community-oriented policing philosophy and relies heavily upon community input and collaborative problem-solving strategies. It is through heightened community involvement in public safety matters that the Atlanta Police Department will most effectively address its many priorities, including, but not limited to youth-related crime, domestic violence and the fight against crime in Atlanta.

With an authorized strength of more than 2,000 sworn officers, the Atlanta Police Department is the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Georgia, and a dedicated, high-profile force for positive change in our communities.

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