While violent crime was down 2.4% compared to 2021, overall crime went up by 6% as property theft increased in large part due to a 31.4% growth in auto theft-related crimes. That increase was primarily due to thefts of catalytic converters increasing by 23.7%. Police Chief Gary Tittle reported 23% of all stolen vehicles had the keys inside or close by.
To increase staff recruiting, the city is offering hiring incentives between $2,500-$10,000 for police officers, depending on experience. The Richardson Police Department also has an up to $5,000 incentive for 911 dispatchers and a $2,500 hiring incentive for detention officers.
On top of hiring, the police department is also focused on retainment, employing 45 officers with 20 or more years in service. Additional efforts are being used to retain personnel, including allowing part-time opportunities, such as neighborhood police officer positions, and providing competitive compensation and benefits, according to city officials.
“If we don’t keep some of those tenured employees, we’ll never get those young sergeants up to par,” City Manager Don Magner said.
Other highlights of the department’s annual review included:
- The police department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which is a partnership with Methodist Richardson Medical Center, finished its second year in operation. In 2022, Methodist Richardson staff partnered with RPD on more than 1,400 crisis phone calls and 67 home calls. Tittle said the partnership has led to a 10% year-over-year reduction of mental health-related apprehensions.
- RPD began the Homeless Engagement and Liaison Program in 2022, which works with the city and community groups in providing resources to the homeless and cleaning up encampments.
- The RPD’s Youth Citizens Police Academy doubled its attendance in 2022 to 37 attendants.