Scranton Police Chief: No Homicides, Crime Down in 2012

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SCRANTON -- The city of Scranton has about 76,000 people, and 157 police officers, who respond to about 60,000 incidents a year. Those are statistics that Scranton's Mayor Chris Doherty says he's pretty proud of.

But, the pool of potential future police officers has dried up. So, for the first time in four years Doherty is looking to recruit.

"It is a good time, the job pays well and I think we are the best force, easily in Northeastern Pennsylvania, maybe the state if we look at our statistics," Doherty said.

The mayor says Scranton has one of the lowest crime rates in Northeastern Pennsylvania, a nod to the force and also a reason why working for them is so attractive.

Police officials expect a big turn out for the upcoming Scranton Police acceptance exam.

Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano said the recruiting process is grueling and this time around they have to do it fast. They're looking to hire two new officers using a state grant in the next few months.

Scranton Police are looking at hiring new officers in a year that could be characterized as a "great" year for cops in Scranton. The chief said there were no homicides in 2012 and police calls are down by about 5,000.

Graziano thinks a new city ordinance for false burglar alarms is one reason there were fewer calls. But, a big reason all crime is down may be because of the number of officers on the street.

"If you look at some of the other departments who have reduced or not replaced their officers, they're struggling to regain control with some of the crime issues that they're having," Graziano said.

The Scranton Police Department hasn't laid off officers in a few years. And they'll start looking to expand by two in February.