A.P.D. is currently down 15 officers, and police have been working overtime to fill shifts.
Sergeant Doug Wrenn says, "That's going to have an impact on our productivity...a fully staffed department is a well-rested department."
Studies show most U.S. cities see a significant rise in speeding tickets given during a recession, but speeding tickets have declined in Abilene. Here are the statistics from 2006 to 2008:
2006 - 2,327
2007 - 2,305
2008 - 2,086
Police say the shortage of staff is one of the reasons for a decline in speeding citations.
"I would contend that most officers have a little more compassion, certainly when someone has a car-load of kids, we're
probably going to give them a break on that fourth citation or third citation."
A police academy is underway in Abilene, and police say it is full of promising recruits.
"With 11 strong, we're all optimistic that they're going to get out of that program and go through field training and hit the streets running," Wrenn said.
A.P.D has been recruiting heavily at local colleges. They have changed the minimum requirement for college hours to six hours for new recruits, and they can gain the remainder of the 45 required hours through police academy.