When walking inside the Nixa Police Department, you can find multiple officers sharing an office and rooms rearranged to best accommodate necessary equipment.
Police Chief, Joe Campbell, said officers are clearly outgrowing the department’s facilities.
While it affects the current staff, he said the big need for additional staff also isn’t possible. There’s just not enough funding or room.
“Right now, we have 41 officers,” said Campbell. “When I started here, we had 25 officers. You can see we’ve grown quite a bit to keep up with the demand that we are seeing.”
He said while it may seem like the department is doing a good job of keeping up, the calls in town are rising. Officers are becoming stretched.
It’s causing there to be less time for general crime prevention techniques.
“The visibility, it’s checking on businesses, it’s doing programs for citizens,” said Campbell. “The latest study revealed that we need up to 11 officers to fill our ranks. That’s not just line level officers. That includes detectives, command staff and support staff as well.”
Campbell said the obvious solution is expansion.
However, that takes money that isn’t there right now.
“The city brought in approximately 3.4 million dollars and our expenditure on our department alone was approximately 3.7 million dollars,” said Campbell. “You can see that we’re in a deficit. That’s concerning because we’re not the only department that draws from that fund.”
Adding 11 more officers, Campbell said, could add up to $1 million the first year alone.
He is inviting the community to come to an open house at the department from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 16.
Officers plan to show the need for expansion, as well as provide estimates of how much a solution would cost.