Value for Taxes

Safe Community

Public Safety Staffing

Due: December 2021

Principle: Ensures the Police Department has appropriate staffing levels; communication, information, financial management support; and leadership services to achieve strategic and operational results, including maintaining a well-informed community.


This strategic result focuses on the efforts the Police Department is investing into recruiting and retaining the high- performing police professionals the City demands with the goal of maintaining staffing levels at 95% or higher on an ongoing basis. The City currently has 191 police officer positions. Maintaining a staffing level of 95% requires 182 of the positions be filled.


According to Police Research Forum, fewer people are applying to become police officers, and more people are leaving the profession, often after only a few years on the job. These trends are occurring even as many police and sheriffs’ offices are already short-staffed and facing challenges in developing a diverse workforce. The workforce crisis is affecting law enforcement agencies of all sizes and types -- large, medium, and small; local, state, and federal. And it is hitting departments in all parts of the country. 

There are ominous signs that the workforce crisis in policing may be getting worse. Traditional sources of job applicants including the military and family members of current officers are diminishing. A robust economy and strong job growth are creating more options for people entering the labor market, so police agencies are facing more competition. And the often rigid, quasi-military organizational structure of most police agencies does not align with the preferences of many of today’s job applicants.

An important issue complicating the situation is the fact that the work of policing itself is changing. The work of police officers is becoming more challenging. Criminal offenders are committing new types of cyber-crime and are using computers to commit old types of crime in new ways. Officers must understand and be comfortable with new technologies. Furthermore, today’s police officers are increasingly being asked to deal with social problems, such as untreated mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness. As a result, the skills, temperament, and life experiences needed to succeed as an officer are becoming more complex. 

Lastly, the civil unrest that occurred in 2020 may also impact the size of our candidate pool moving forward.


Work System
Performance Measures

Police Officer Ratio


Municipalities routinely monitor how many sworn personnel there are compared to the total population. CALEA drives this ratio for Arvada.


A law enforcement presence plays a key role in crime prevention and the overall safety of the community. Having the lowest ratio shows that Arvada employs more sworn officers per capita than benchmark municipalities.


Police Response Time


These high priority calls are defined as urgent or emergency calls.


Priority 0 = officer foot pursuit, officer needs help, and shots fired

Priority 1 = person with a gun, hold up/panic alarm, domestic, robbery, stabbing, disturbance, injury accident, overdose

The measure monitors the time it takes for an officer to arrive at a priority 0-1 call for service (from dispatch pending receipt of call to officer arrival on scene). The intent is to measure our ability to rapidly respond to emergency calls for service; containment of critical incidents and increased opportunity to identify and arrest offenders.

The Industry average is 10 minutes. 


Emergency call response time is a critical element to citizen safety and customer service.  Citizens need and expect a prompt response from the Police Department when calling for help.  


Data Source

Post March 21 2018, the data is now provided by Jeffcom and the Computer Aided Dispatch system, TriTech.    The priorities of all call types are set to default to the highest necessary response for that incident type.  However, the priority of these incident types can be changed, if the call taker determines the necessity.