CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County's sheriff is making some suggestions to help make improvements within the Charlottesville Police Department.

CPD is currently losing officers faster than it can replace them.

Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding says he knows why officers are leaving, and he's urging department leaders to take a closer look at why.

Harding says turmoil in the Charlottesville Police Department hits close to home, since he spent decades of his career moving up the ranks in the CPD.

"I really enjoyed my career with the Charlottesville Police Department,” Harding said. “I look back now with sadness to see the state of the police department as it is today.”

In an article published on December 30, Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney told the Daily Progress the department is down nearly a dozen officers and vacancies are becoming harder to fill.

"I know it’s got to be very stressful with what they're going through right now,” Harding said.

And he adds that over the past several months, he has received input from officers within the department concerning the current leadership.

"I feel really sorry for the guys and women,” Harding said. “There are a lot of folks - not a lot because there’s been a lot of turnover - but a few I worked with when I was there and I feel sorry for the position they're in now with all the turmoil."

Harding also says some of the departures could be caused by low pay and the fallout following white supremacist rallies in the summer of 2017.

“I think it’s been building,” Harding said. “Certainly what occurred two Augusts ago didn't help, but it's a whole lot more factors that go into it. You've got - to me, the agency has been neglected as far as pay for years, it’s way out of balance."

Harding also suggests that the city manager bring in an outside consultant team so that officers can give statements to independent assessors regarding the state of the department.

NBC29 reached out to Chief Brackney for comment, and we’re still waiting on a response.