Results of a recent survey by the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association show staffing is the No. 2 concern of officers, behind pay and benefits. Morale scored as the No. 3 concern. The CSPPA isn't a union but advocates for law enforcement needs and works to build bonds between officers and the community.
The anonymous survey — the first in several years — was emailed to about 947 sworn and civilian CSPD employees. Conducted in June, it drew 443 responses, 76 percent of whom were sworn officers. Most respondents were rank-and-file.
About 80 percent said their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment, and 73 percent said they were generally satisfied with their jobs.
But the survey reveals a chasm between cops and command staff. While nearly 93 percent said their sergeant supports them some or all the time and about 90 percent said that about their lieutenant, a quarter said the command staff and chief didn't support them at all. Also, 41 percent said the CSPD leadership doesn't understand what they do at their jobs.
Those responding to the survey, most of whom have been with the department for 15 years or more, overwhelmingly said the pressures of law enforcement have changed since they were hired and that job-related stress has climbed.
Worse, 77 percent said they have experienced burnout, and a quarter said they didn't foresee staying at the CSPD beyond five years. Burnout, most said, comes from too much workload.