VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — A Bay Area police officer’s association is sounding off the alarm over the rate of officers leaving its police force.

The Vallejo Police Officers Association (VPOA) announced this week they are concerned over the number of officers leaving the Vallejo Police Department (VPD) in recent weeks at an “unprecedented rate, reminiscent of bankruptcy days.”

“Low staffing continues to surpass what is critical for safety of the public and our officers,” said a press release by VPOA.

“Additionally, it severely hampers our ability to provide basic police service.”

The VPOA says new officers have not been able to pass field training, experienced officers of all ranks have left the force for other agencies throughout the Bay Area, while others are retiring.

The agency acknowledges that attrition is a normal part of any organization, but that the years of training and experience that are going to other agencies is alarming — many of them being Vallejo natives, bi-lingual and specially trained officers.

“Some other agencies are having challenges recruiting; BUT NOT ALL and retaining officers in Vallejo is problematic,” reads a press release by VPOA stating that staffing is currently at 66% of budgeted positions.

“Let our elected officials know this is not acceptable.”

In 2020, Vallejo saw an increase in several crime categories in comparison to other years.

According to the Vallejo Police Department’s crime data — homicides, rapes, assaults, auto theft, and arson incidents increased significantly in 2020.

“Our ability and effectiveness is severely diminished. We have voiced these concerns to City and Department leadership many times and have offered to help with recruitment financially,” a VPOA spokesperson tells KRON4 News.

“We have not received any response and have been excluded from most, if not all, recruiting efforts and processes,” VPOA added.

“However, we are encouraged by the new City Manager, Mike Malone, who has been the first City leader, of late, that has been engaging in dialogue with the VPOA to address these serious issues.”

Crime statistics by category from 2017 to 2021. Courtesy: Vallejo Police Department.