An understaffed SDPD has been forced to make tough decisions with limited resources. Officers still respond to emergencies ahead of the department’s goal, but the department is failing to meet its own standards with every other type of call that comes in.

There may not be one single explanation for SDPD’s failure to hire enough officers, but there is one reason Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman keeps returning to: scrutiny from the media. It’s an argument she’s made many times – and one for which she’s consistently declined to provide evidence.

City officials plan to dole out millions to police officers who’ve long complained about their paltry paychecks. They might get the most bang for their bucks if they give a big chunk of the money to veteran officers who are easy targets to get hired away by the Sheriff’s Department.