Consultant: USF police understaffed, underpaid
The University of South Florida police department suffers from “immediate and growing” manpower problems that are exacerbated by its “non-competitive compensation package." As a result, the force is “understaffed” and hard-pressed to respond to “special events or critical incidents.”
So concludes a national security consultant, in a 27-page report completed this month and obtained by the Times on Wednesday.
The findings of Hallcrest Systems Inc., echo many of the sentiments voiced by police union leaders and officers who are wrangling with USF officials over a new contract.
“It’s very insightful, and we’re hopeful it will be implemented,” police spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said of the recommendations.
USF administrators paid Hallcrest $13,000 for the assessment, said university spokesman Ken Gullette.
Gullette said the goal was to get an “objective look” at USF’s security needs, in light of the controversial contract negotiations.
“During times like police contract negotiations, sometimes emotion comes into it,” Gullette said. “So we wanted an independent view.”
Read more in tomorrow's Times and on tampabay.com.