Updated: Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013, 7:05 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013, 7:05 PM EST
For the first time in almost a decade a southern Indiana police department is at full staff.
A pair of new officers have joined the Vincennes Police Department this week bringing the department to a full compliment of 37.
While the new officers are still getting up to speed the department is moving ahead with plans to do more than just patrol.
The Vincennes Police Department has come a long way from this group in 1871.
It's grown a lot from this tommy gun toting crew from the 1930's.
For the first time since 2005 the department has a full compliment of officers.
"I think we've come strides to do the best we can do for the community," said Vincennes Police Chief Dustin Luking, "so I'm feeling good about where we're at right now."
The department isn't quite ready to send all of it's officers out on patrol.
One just completed his academy training, another is currently attending the academy, and the 2 most recent hires are still doing paperwork and studying procedure manuals, but once they're trained the chief says the city will see a big difference.
"The more officers you can put out on the street is more eyes that can observe when they're out patrolling the neighborhoods," said Luking, "but no only that it's more police bodies that we can do some individual work too."
In the last 7 years the department has turned over one third of its officers, and officials say one of the reasons is that they leave to go to bigger departments.
"It's hard for us sometimes when you put a lot of time, effort and money into training people and they move on from you," said Luking.
Officials hope they can now keep the police numbers stable and put a full force out to protect the community.
While the department is up to date on manpower, it is down on dog-power.
V.P.D. recently retired its k9 and is preparing to start a campaign to purchase a new one.
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