Indianapolis city officials are facing a severe shortage of law enforcement personnel.

The Indianapolis Metro Police Department is losing 71 officers to retirement on Jan. 1. This is in addition to a shortage that the force is already facing. The department estimates that in 2008, the city will lose 3,500 years of combined law enforcement experience.

Local media has reported that the department is hiring back officers with overtime.

"We're short, and you look at the slates every single day—the districts aren't being manned 100 percent. They can't," says Sgt. Bill Owensby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The department plans to hire 160 new officers in 2008. If it succeeds, nearly 25 percent of the force will have about one year of experience.

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