Raleigh can’t hire enough lifeguards to fully open the City’s pools.

Raleigh has shortages of Public Safety personnel in firefighting, policing and the 911 call center. Mostly due to resignations.

Raleigh can’t hire enough bus drivers to operate a full transit schedule.


Just what are Mayor Baldwin, At-Large Councilor Melton, and District Councilors Branch, Forte and Knight doing to fix this? These five sitting members of City Council are running for re-election. They want you to give them another term in office when they have clearly demonstrated they can’t do the job.

You may be tempted to say it’s the City Manager’s job to deal with city staffing issues. But, the City Manager, who this Mayor and Council hand-picked for the job, reports to the Mayor and City Council. If they are not happy with the manager’s performance, it is their RESPONSIBILITY to find a replacement who can do the job.

It started in the spring with reports that the City couldn’t hire enough lifeguards to fully open Raleigh’s swimming pools for the summer season. A summer that has turned out to be one of the hottest on record.

From Spectrum:  Lifeguard shortage plaguing Raleigh Pools   

    • The City of Raleigh Parks is short 50 to 60% of lifeguards for the summer season”  

Next, in April, we heard from the City’s firefighters and police that they are severely understaffed. From WRAL:  Dealing with staffing shortages, Raleigh police officers, firefighters will protest   

    • “Firefighters told WRAL News better pay will support the Raleigh Fire Department’s work to retain employees and recruit for nearly 60 vacancies.”
    • “There are currently 58 vacant firefighter positions within the Raleigh Fire Department, an increase of 450% in two years.”
    • “Raleigh City Council is looking to fill the police department’s 168 vacancies, which is about 20 percent of the total force”

In June came the news that Raleigh’s 911 Emergency Call Center is also losing employees at a rapid pace and putting the City’s safety at risk. From From ABC11: How prepared are public safety departments for a summer spike in 911 calls?

    • “The center has 42 vacant jobs; a third of its funded positions.”
    • “The percentage of calls answered in a timely manner has begun to slip at the center. The latest data shows around 78% of 911 calls are answered in 10 seconds or less. The state standard is around 90% of calls are answered that quickly.” 
    • “The response time at Wake-Raleigh Emergency Communications Center is at the lowest in at least a year.”

Lastly, we have reports of shortages of bus drivers. So much so that the City can’t run a full transit schedule. From the News and Observer: Too few drivers means service cuts  

    • “Passengers on 11 routes that can now catch a bus every 30 minutes will have to wait up to an hour.”
    • “The empty jobs mean that GoRaleigh can’t complete 150 to 200 scheduled trips per week. That comes out to between 2% and 3% of the agency’s roughly 1,000 trips each day.”
    • “It’s not incredibly huge,”  “But for the person trying to get to work, that’s big.”

 Livable Raleigh Editorial Team

If you appreciate the kind of reporting we bring to you

Please donate $10 or $20,
or whatever you can
to Livable Raleigh.

Thanks for supporting
your local watchdog!