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Alexandria needs more police officers, says chief

Alexandria needs more police officers to keep the community and other officers safe.

That's what Police Chief Rick Wyffels told the Alexandria City Council while giving his annual report Monday night. The chief listed budget cuts and officer staffing as the department's biggest challenges.

Wyffels noted that the police budget has been frozen for four years, even after the city added significant population through two annexations. "We are really stretched with our police officers," he said.

The department has made adjustments internally to keep costs down, such as adjusting officers' duties and using technology, Wyffels said, but it's not enough.

"We simply need more officers to handle the 14,000 to 16,000 calls we get per year," he said. "I hardly have the resources to put and keep our undercover officer in the drug task force."

Read Wednesday's Echo Press for details of Wyffels' report and his request for the city to hire a replacement officer.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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