MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Herald reports the Miami Police Department is short 84 officers. And, the newspaper says the gap is getting worse as 250 officers are set to retire in the next five years.
Chief Manuel Oroso blames outdated hiring practices and administrative process for the lack of new officers.
Recruiting new officers gets bogged down in part because applicants who haven't worked for other departments must pass a state-mandated abilities test and a civil service exam. The Herald reports most South Florida departments only require the state test.
Then recruits take agility and psychological exams. Then there's the background check which can take four months. Only one in 10 applicants get job offers. By that time, many have accepted positions elsewhere.
Starting salary in Miami is $45,929.