Pinal County has one of the best Sheriff’s Offices in the country. The agency has always prided itself on being very selective in hiring both officers and civilian personnel. The result has been an agency that does very much with a very small workforce given the size and complexity of the county. While this is an admirable quality, there are consequences if the workload continues to grow without commensurate increases in staffing.
Potential for increased response times to call for service in some parts of the county, increased investigative caseloads, and the use of overtime to maintain current service levels are now the norm in the agency. Units have been cut and re-deployed throughout the organization to support the increasingly complex business of policing what is rapidly becoming a large metropolitan jurisdiction.
The Sheriff’s Office must grow with the county. We must also examine some tasks that are labor intensive and provide no real service to the majority of the community. To that end, what follows is an objective look at several police staffing modeling methods, and a detailed outline of the current organization. Options for service level reduction or reprioritization are explored and projections for the future size of the organization are offered.
The purpose of this report is to provide a framework for building the future workforce of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. Police staffing in a rapidly evolving metropolitan area involves a complicated set of factors, and no single model for policing staff exists as an industry standard. Traditional benchmarks for police staffing have included officers per resident ratios and total department staff per resident ratio. While these are easy figures to obtain, they do little to accurately reflect the unique needs of a given community. Many experts believe an aggressive enforcement posture does have a direct impact on crime rates. An agency must carefully consider its day to day workload, and plan for sufficient personnel to address those things it hopes to accomplish over and above the routine daily demands for service. Consideration must also be given to additional resources that may be needed in times of extraordinary events, both planned and unplanned.