Police Shortages Hit Across The Country

Law enforcement: It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. But what happens when no one wants to be that somebody?

Numerous police departments around the country are desperately losing manpower with decreasing numbers of officers and recruits. Law enforcement is becoming less of a desirable career choice due to diminishing pay, high risk, and of course a recent bad rap — a trend that could put public safety at risk, say policing experts.

The current shortage afflicts police forces from large metropolitan hubs to rural towns.

“Departments are struggling to find not only interested, but interested and qualified, candidates to join the force,” said Jim Burch, vice president of the Police Foundation. “With everything happening around policing from salary to criticism, the question many people are asking is ‘is it worth it?'”

Data on the extent of the shortage is limited to individual departments. There is no national, centralized data on police recruits or department numbers, said Lim. “The only way to find out is when individual departments release information. Otherwise nobody collects this information,” he added.

The Roswell Police Department in New Mexico has been dealing with staff shortages for the last five years, said spokesman Todd Wildermuth. Roswell’s police force, with a starting salary of $44,553, is currently down 20 percent from the allocated headcount, he said. The police force has been below its maximum headcount for years now, Mayor Dennis Kintigh said.

The department shortages and recruiting problems being reported across the country is exactly why Law Officer developed their Law Officer Partner program.  Editor In Chief Travis Yates calls it the type of “outside the box” efforts that agencies must grab on to if they are going to compete in job recruitment.

“The old methods simply do not bring in the number of candidates that an agency needs to compete so we knew the time was right to launch the program,” Yates discussed.

The Law Officer Partner program leverages the existing audience on Law Officer and sends that audience to a customized recruiting portal specifically developed for that agency.

According to Yates, not only will a large audience see the agency but the technology enables the agency to target certain areas of the country as an audience as well.

“If you want to recruit in Mississippi, California or a specific college city, there is no need to get on an airplane” Yates said.  “For less than $10 a day, we make it happen and we get your agency exposure to whatever demographic or city they want.”

You can find out more about the Law Officer Partner program by going here.

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