RICHMOND, Va. -- As crime continues to climb in Richmond, including 59 homicides so far in 2016, the need for more police in the community is at an all-time high.
As a result, Richmond police are planning to speak at Monday's city council meeting to ask additional funds for the department.
Police said an argument led to a deadly double shooting in Mosby Court. Then just a few hours later another man was shot several blocks away in Fairfield Court.
The violence that broke out in parts of the city Sunday afternoon is an example of the extreme workload facing Richmond police officers, according to RPD Master Officer Victoriana Cangelosi.
"I got a text today, even though I was off, looking to see if I could work,” Cangelosi said. "We just do not have the bodies to do the job the way that we all feel we need to do it for the city of Richmond, and for the residents.”
RPD officials said they are about 70 officers short of where they should be.
But two ordinances city council members could sign off on Monday would free up $1.6 million in this year’s budget that would allow the department to hire a new recruiting class.
Some council members have expressed concern that Richmond is losing officers to better jobs, so they say hiring new recruits would only serve as a Band-Aid to a bigger problem.
“As humans, we all need rest,” Cangelosi said.
Cangelosi said despite working overtime and responding to some calls without back up, she still loves her job.
However, she said conditions for officers on the beat cannot be over looked.
“Every single one of us who goes out there ever single night is working as hard as we can, but the bottom line is there is a certain number of people in place for us to work at an optimal level,” Cangelosi said. “We are just not there.”