Press Releases

Press Releases: Public Safety Staffing Down Almost 19% from Pre-Pandemic Levels


PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Christy Brady today released the June 2024 Municipal Money Matters Report that found the City of Philadelphia’s public safety personnel is down almost 19 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

Since fiscal year 2019, the total number of public safety officers in the city has decreased by 1,875. Prisons experienced the most substantial decline, with a 43% reduction in uniformed officers, while Police saw a 20% reduction. Although Fire saw a slight increase in actual positions filled, they still fell significantly short of their budgeted numbers.

“Following the public health crisis and social unrest in 2020, concerns about public safety reached significant levels,” said Brady. “At the same time, the number of public safety officers dramatically decreased in our city.”

A breakdown of staffing by department includes the following:

FY2019FY2024Diff.% Diff

The shortages for these departments remain below annual budgeted figures. Currently, there is a critical shortfall of 2,400 unfilled uniformed positions across these three public safety departments. This includes 1,084 vacancies in Police, 875 in Prisons and 441 in Fire.

“The city is currently taking aggressive measures to recruit and increase staffing across all these departments,” said Brady. “We don’t believe Philadelphia is immune to staffing challenges across agencies that provide public safety. This is a great city to live and work and we want professionals to realize they can obtain an excellent career in these professions.”

Visit to view the latest monthly report.


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