A recruitment drive could be launched by West Midlands Police – despite the force having to get rid of 1,100 officers.
The force has lost more officers than it hoped to in the past six months, also resulting in a £24m underspend in its budget.
Chiefs blamed high stress levels and low morale for the high numbers leaving.
A consultation on new recruitment will be launched in November, with police and crime commissioner Bob Jones saying losing extra staff but saving money at the same time was ‘mixed news’.
The force needs to axe the 1,100 officers by 2015 as part of £126m savings.
That equates to 220 a year but an extra 29 officers have been lost since April alone on top of those needed to be axed.
Chief finance officer for the police and crime commissioner, Mike Williams, said recruitment opportunities could be considered as funding was put in place.
He added: “The savings within pay continue the theme of securing reductions required early for the next financial year.
“Based upon these assumptions future staffing levels are likely to be significantly below affordable levels.
“This gives the flexibility to considering workforce mix or recruitment opportunities.
“However, any opportunities must be considered in the light of uncertain future financial settlements.”
Meanwhile Mr Jones said he was conscious that talented officers would have to be replaced.
He added: “It’s mixed news – it helps us get to our very significant financial savings target earlier. However, there are risks attached to losing bodies and it’s sometimes the case that our more talented members have opportunities to leave.
“In some ways if people are leaving naturally it assists us getting to our reduction targets. We have a job in seeking to replace those. We’re conscious that we need to replace those skills.”
Ian Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Police Federation, said policing was not an enticing career as it once was.
He added: “There are jobs elsewhere in the private sector and there are disillusioned officers who are managing to find jobs abroad, at other forces and in the private sector.
“There has been much higher levels of stress, high workloads, an ongoing pay freeze, increases in pension contributions and less opportunity for promotion and movement within the force.”
Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson: "Careful planning and prudent budgeting means we are in the best possible position for future financial challenge, whilst all the time continuing to serve and protect the people of the West Midlands.
"West Midlands Police has to save £126 million over four years and, as the force's biggest overhead cost is staffing, it was inevitable that cuts would have to be made to the number of policing posts. We have comprehensive plans in place to manage the departure of staff, as succession planning is part of normal core business.
"In a recent report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) West Midlands Police was praised by for maintaining a strong frontline police presence and cutting crime in the face of testing government spending cuts. The HMIC found that despite savings, 93 per cent of officers were engaged in frontline crime-fighting roles.
"The force is working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to decide how we use our resources in the future in the best possible way."
Addressing concerns about low morale, he said: "Over 3,700 staff and officers took part in a recent internal survey - almost a third of the workforce .
"Over the last few years the force has experienced a period of unprecedented change which has had an impact on everyone, regardless of their rank or role.
"It would be easy to assume that this upheaval, which has seen us shrinking the organisation by well over 1,000 staff and with major changes to pay and conditions at a national level, would have a detrimental impact on how people feel about WMP and their job. However, it’s encouraging to see that feedback in many categories is high.
"More than 70% felt that they were able to do their job to a high standard and nearly 60% said they felt proud to work for West Midlands Police."