RealNews

War deployments drain police departments

Police officer John Grote gave up his daytime desk job for the overnight shift. He gets called in on his days off and often has to respond to calls alone when it would be better to have backup. Like hundreds of officers across the country, Grote’s life changed nearly a year and a half ago when one of this western Ohio village’s eight police officers was called to military duty. Grote’s family also has had to adjust, especially his 7-year-old daughter. “She knows that Dad comes home at 6 o’clock in the morning and gets her off to school,” Grote said. “My family understands that. I’m absolutely not complaining.” The call-up of military reservists for duty in Afghanistan, for homeland security and to prepare for a possible war against Iraq has strained police and sheriff departments nationwide. The Washington D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum says 44 percent of 976 law enforcement agencies it surveyed between September and November reported losing personnel to reservist duty. Full Story

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