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Alaska city faces shortage of police officers

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — An Alaska city is facing a shortage of police officers that is raising concerns about the department’s operations.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Sunday that the Fairbanks Police Department has seven unfilled positions, a deficit expected to grow this spring and summer following scheduled retirements.

The department says four of its 46 officers plan to retire in the coming months.

Officials say four of the expected 11 vacancies will remain unfunded through at least 2019 under the terms of a three-year contract approved in March.

Officials say the expected retirees hold supervisory roles with ranks of sergeant or above and patrol officers will need to be promoted to fill those positions.

Officials say the full impact is not clear, but a dedicated downtown patrol this summer is not planned.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

The Associated Press