NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After dealing with 32 murders last year, the North Charleston Police Department has another big problem: not enough officers on the streets.
The department is down 20 officers.
"We're losing people that are not leaving North Charleston, they're leaving the job going into other professions," Mayor Keith Summey said Thursday.
Summey blames the shortage on several things, including low pay, the danger and lack of respect for officers.
"I had somebody tell me that one of my officers said his eight-year-old son come up to him after looking at TV and said, 'Daddy why does nobody like you?" Summey said.
Summey says compounding the problem is the 42 recruits who still have to go through months of training before being allowed to patrol the city.
Charleston Farms president Dave Crane says his neighborhood resource office had to be put back on patrol because of the shortage.
"So far I haven't seen any adverse effects," Crane said. "I can see where it can happen, especially if the shortage continues and no one's going into law enforcement."
Summey says he's doing the best he can until the 20 vacancies are filled.
"We're pulling overtime and we're doing everything we can to keep them out there, our response times are still good," Summey said. "We got you covered but every time you see one of those men and women out there, you ought to say to thank them and pat them on the back."
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says they need to hire 17 deputies.
The Charleston Police Department tells us they are fully staffed.