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Police Shortage Creates Public Safety Problem In Carrboro

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CARRBORO — Long hours and a lack of police officers is creating a public safety problem in Carrboro.

Officer Chris Atack is just one of 26 officerspatrolling the town's streets. He says the shortage isbeginning to show.

"When you're running short, and you've been running short for an extendedperiod of time, you get burned out. Youget tired," he says. "It's frustrating. You can't address calls aseffectively as you like to."

The Carrboro Police Department has beenunderstaffed for years.Chief Caroline Hutchison blames low salaries. She also says lawenforcement can be a thankless job.

"Today's young people aren't particularly interested in working in anoccupation that can be, at once, both gratifying and heartbreaking," shesays.

The Board of Aldermen is looking at givingofficers an additional 2.5 percent payincrease as well as letting them take patrolcars home. A decision is expected by June.

Atack says the proposal could not have come at a better timebecause, as it is right now, the job he loves is taking its toll.

"You just feel like not only are you burning the candle atboth ends, but in the middle as well," he says.

The starting salary for a police officer in Carrboro is just over$28,000. Most of the officers cannot afford to live inthe town they serve and protect.

 Credits

Julia Lewis, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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