‘We’re Tired, We’re Burnt Out:’ Ceres Police Officers Association Says They’re Understaffed

CERES -- Overworked and underpaid, the Ceres Police Officers Association says its members are burned out.

"I mean, we love Ceres, we love the citizens and that’s why a lot of people haven’t left, honestly," said Officer Brian Petersen.

Petersen, the vice president of the Ceres Police Officers Association, says fellow members have been disheartened with mandatory overtime hours.

"We have to put our personal life aside, so to speak, to come here," Petersen told FOX40.

The association recently shared online how overworked officers are and how staying "physically and mentally sharp" has been challenging for them.

The group will have their families to support them during Monday night's city council meeting.

"We’re tired, we’re burnt out," Petersen said.

Ceres Police Chief Brent Smith says a part of the issue the months-long hiring process.

"Solution? I wish I had my finger on the solution. I think every police chief around here does," Smith said.

Officer Petersen says he’s seen colleagues leave because they could no longer afford a basic living.

"We’re not asking to compete with Bay Area wages or even the wages made in Tracy," he said.

Despite feeling overworked, Petersen says police will continue to work hard for Ceres.

"We wouldn’t stay here if we didn’t love what we do and love the people that we work for and the people we serve," Petersen said.

The chief says there are seven positions they need to fill but background checks, boot camp and training all take months to complete.

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