The Cincinnati Police Department is recommending City Council approve officer recruit classes in the next two budgets to maintain sworn staffing levels.
Right now, the department is about 50 officers below the authorized complement of 1,057.
But without new recruits, that could change by June 2021, when sworn staffing could drop below 1,000.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said retirements are the big reason.
"There are 208 officers that have 25 or more years of service that are at least 48 years of age, which means they are eligible to retire," Isaac said.
On average, about three officers retire each month from the department.
Those numbers could increase in 2020 and 2021 because a number of officers are enrolled in a deferred retirement plan through the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund. About 20 percent of the department's entire sworn staff, or 220 officers, are in that program.
The department is recommending a class with 45 students starting in November, and another with 50 recruits that would start in April 2021.
"If attrition continues at the projected rate, these classes will set the level of sworn officers at approximately 1,027," Isaac said. "We still won't touch that 1,057 rate, but it at least keeps us in the ballpark that we've been able to operate and have some success in."
It takes six to eight months for the hiring process, and then another 28 weeks for training.
The department is scheduled to give the police recruit exam on March 30. That begins the process for the class that could start training in November.