JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Three new officers will join the Jefferson City police force and soon there could be more.
Last month, Jefferson City police officers told ABC 17 News they were at a dangerously low level of patrol officers. This problem is rooted in city budget cuts from last year.
Over the last couple of months, the already short-staffed department lost 10 officers to military and medical leave.
Thursday the department is down six officers, but hopes to hire two more. It will take time before the department is at a normal staffing level again.
"We have moved in a positive forward motion and the wheels are in place to continue hiring," said Captain Doug Shoemaker, Jefferson City Police Department.
Two of the three new patrol officers are post-certified, meaning they already have a police license in the state of Missouri.
"Those two will immediately start with a field training officer,"said Shoemaker.
After 17 months of training on the streets of Jefferson City, they will be let out on their own.
The officer not already certified will begin academy training in January before she can even start her street training.
"That time element is automatically built into the system," said Shoemaker.
The time it takes to train an officer is unavoidable. Applicants have to go through a series of 10 steps that can take close to a year to complete.
While these tests are getting done, the Jefferson City Personnel Board is talking about hiring an additional two officers.