Manchester- Mayor Frank C. Guinta today issued a challenge to the Colleges and Universities in and around the City of Manchester to expand or create programs within their curriculum that encourage students to remain in New Hampshire and pursue careers in local law enforcement.
This move came after Manchester Police Officials brought their recruit shortage to the Mayor’s attention. Guinta has reached out to the local college leaders over the past couple of days to personally voice this challenge to each of them.
"Nationwide, there is an ever-growing shortage of available police recruits," Guinta said. "Municipalities are finding it extremely challenging to fill their vacancies, and Manchester is certainly no exception to this problem."
"Manchester is a rapidly growing college town. We now have the greatest number of college students in the state being educated within our city limits. We recognize that there is a critical need for more police recruits in Manchester and it only makes sense that the colleges and universities in our city consider addressing this issue. I sincerely hope our local institutions hear this call and come up with a creative way to get more students interested in staying in New Hampshire after they graduate and pursuing a career in local law enforcement," Guinta added.
Manchester’s current funded police complement stands at 215 officers, which was increased from 209 in the FY2007 budget. In August, Guinta pledged to add funding for ten more officers to the complement over the next two years. Despite the Department having the funding for additional officers, filling the vacancies has proven to be a constant challenge. The current actual Manchester Police force stands at 199 officers with three additional officers joining the force on December fourth.
Ensuring public safety has been a top concern of Mayor Guinta throughout the first year of his term. He has been very active in talking with police officials and finding solutions to any problems or concerns they may communicate to him. To date, some of the crime fighting initiatives Guinta has lobbied for include: Federal funding for this summer’s high intensity/high visibility teams, State funding for this fall’s Special Enforcement Task Force, the formation of Neighborhood Watches, the reactivation of the Neighborhood Enhancement Team, the addition of Sixteen New Officers over three years, the re-posting of School Resource Officers in our middle schools, a security audit program for convenience stores, and the implementation of the Compstat crime tracking program over a two year period.
Guinta will continue to work with Police Officials over the next year to ensure that they have whatever resources they require to ensure public safety in the City of Manchester.