Aiken City Council to examine Public Safety turnover, management

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Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Aiken City Council will hold a work session Monday night at 6 p.m. to examine concerns about Public Safety turnover, training, and management.

Councilman Dick Dewar has been working on the issues for a number of years. He said he's discovered that since the beginning of 2012 alone, the turnover rate at Aiken Public Safety is nearly 36 percent.

"You have to be concerned about the numbers," said Dewar, who adds the turnover rate needs to be addressed by City Council and City Manager Richard Pearce.

Preliminary data that Dewar released says, since 2012, 10 Public Safety employees retired and 15 left the department voluntarily. Of the 15, three left Aiken for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety. According to Dewar's calculations, even with the turnover, 51 percent of the remaining sworn officers have 10 or more years of experiene. However, Dewar also found that 31 percent of the officers have been with the city for less than two years.

When asked why he believes turnover is high, Dewar said it's likely an amalgamation of factors, including pay. However, Dewar said the City of Aiken doesn't have an out-briefing program.

"We don't have a lot of feedback from the employees who leave," he said.

Dewar said he hopes it's an issue the city will take seriously, since 48 weeks of training is put into each new recruit.

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