Austin police have underscored some of their department's staffing needs in their first budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austin police representatives asked the Public Safety Commission on Monday to fund the hiring of 48 additional civilian employees as a way to address the department's staffing shortage.
The proposed budget also asks for 71 additional police officers, $1 million in additional overtime money and 26 additional forensics employees.
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Chief of Staff Brian Manley says there are current more than 170 vacant officer positions. That's a 20 percent increase in vacancies from the 145 open positions Austin police officials cited in February.
Manley says hiring more civilians could allow more officers to be on the street.