HOLLISTER, Calif. - More police officers are coming to a Central Coast city but under a very tight budget. Hollister Police plans to hire six officers with funds from Measure E and a saving fund within the department.
Officer Christopher Wells has been with the Hollister Police Department for 5 years and he said the 60 hour work weeks put him and the rest of their team to the test.
"It is a bit of a strain, when we are as short staffed as we are, not only do you have your day to day operations and but you conduct our own follow ups."
Today, I rode with Officer Wells throughout Hollister and saw first hand welfare checks, narcotics arrests and hit and runs. It was all things that Wells and the other 20 sworn officers have to deal with on any given day.
But on a busy day, with only three officers on duty at a time, sometimes it takes teaming up with other agencies to do their civil duties.
"Its not uncommon at all for us to rely on the Sheriff's Department to help us out with a big case and vice versa," said Wells.
In July, San Benito County Sheriffs' Department laid off 6 deputies and one of those will start with the Hollister Police next week. Wells and the former police chief, David Westrick, said more could be coming in the future.
"Which will be a huge relief to not only us working here but to the community," explained Wells.
The police said the reason they are able to hire these additional officers is because of the way they pinched their pennies for so long and budgeting even when it came down to buying pencils and paper.
Because of Measure E passing in November and with the tight budgets in the past, Hollister police will ask the city council to unfreeze funds at a Monday night to move forward with the hires.
That is something that Officer Wells said will help out tremendously.
"The more cop cars that are out there, the more visible the police are and the fewer crimes."
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