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Jupiter police officers plead with town council for more funding to combat staffing shortage

'People are burnt out, they're calling out sick,' said one officer.
Posted at 10:59 PM, Sep 23, 2021

JUPITER, Fla. — Members of the Jupiter community backing the blue made their voices heard in support of police at Thursday night's Town Council meeting.

Officers there claimed they've been dealing with staff shortages for years and need the council's support.

"People are burnt out. They're calling out sick," said one officer. "You guys are paying overtime. What is going on?"

"We are extremely overworked," said another officer. "We are exhausted, and mental health is a big issue."

A lack of training was also a top concern.

Officers said it's potentially jeopardizing safety.

"The training items, that should be dealt with during contract negotiations," said Jupiter Mayor Todd Wodraska.

Wodraska promised those who spoke that the force has the town leadership's support.

"Within the past year, we've opened up a brand new police headquarters right next door here," said Wodraska. "We've instituted a new chief of police, somebody who has actually rose through the ranks, which I view as a positive."

"We have a staffing crisis and we have officers that cannot go to training because they're being denied because the roads are short," said another officer.

Wodraska mentioned potentially hiring a third party to study to see if more officers are, in fact, needed.

Town staff could not be reached for comment.