Town of Bedford

Bedford, Massachusetts, United States

The Town of Bedford (Town) engaged Raftelis to perform a staffing and operations analysis of the Bedford Police Department (Department) with two main tasks to confront staffing and vacancy challenges. The first task was to determine the staffing needs of the Department necessary to support effective service to the community. The second task was to identify recruitment and retention strategies that can address the high vacancy rate.

The project team analyzed Department call for service data to determine appropriate staffing levels to respond to calls promptly and ensure coverage for critical or overlapping incidents. The analysis concluded that the Department’s current minimum staffing, consisting of three officers on Day and Evening shifts and two officers on Night shifts, is sufficient to meet the community’s needs. These minimum staffing requirements can be met with 16 patrol officer positions under the current schedule, three more positions than are currently authorized. For that reason, the report recommends adding three more patrol officer positions. The project also identified adoption of an over-hire model, allowing the Department to proactively hire and train officers in anticipation of future turnover and vacancies. The report also proposed various measures to encourage recruitment, enhance retention, and mitigate vacancies at the Department, including continuing the process of exiting the Civil Service System, as well as establishing an officer wellness program and implementing a Department-wide training program to encourage retention.