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DUPD attrition may be higher

Officers may be departing the Duke University Police Department at a higher rate than previously reported.

Updated figures indicate that nearly 50 percent of the force has departed since January 2006.

According to the figures, provided to The Chronicle by an officer who wished to remain anonymous, approximately 32 officers have left in that period. DUPD's Web site states that the department has 67 commissioned officers.

Last week, The Chronicle reported the total departures to comprise approximately one-third of the department, as cited in a report by Sibson Consulting, a firm hired by the University to study the attrition rate.

"[I] haven't seen those numbers, but they wouldn't change my general view of the situation," Executive Vice President Tallman Trask wrote in an e-mail.

Aaron Graves, associate vice president for campus safety and security, arrived at Duke from the University of Southern California in January 2006.

In his first year, the number of officers who left Duke jumped threefold from the previous year. The trend has shown no signs of stopping, with at least four officers departing thus far in 2008.

Previously, Sibson estimated that the total cost to the University of recruiting and training new hires is nearly $800,000.

Taking into account the updated figures, that cost may be higher as well.

The firm's final report on the root causes of the escalating departures is due soon, Vice President for Campus Services Kemel Dawkins said last week.

DUPD Maj. Gloria Graham, the department's spokesperson and operations commander, did not respond to a request for comment.

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