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Video: Police Departments Nationwide Struggling to Find New Recruits

March 08, 2016  | 

VIDEO: Police Departments Nationwide Struggling to Find New Recruits

Police departments all across the country are struggling to find new recruits.

Experts like James Chriss, who wrote a book on community policing, point to the so-called "Ferguson Effect." Clashes captured on camera in places like Ferguson, MO, are causing some to stay clear of the profession, reports WEWS-TV.

"Heightened media sensationalism over police use of force is probably scaring away a lot of people," Chriss said.

Another major factor is our economy. With unemployment rates dropping, people who might have once considered law enforcement can now pass on becoming a police officer.

"Police organizations have to compete more vigorously with the private sector," said Chriss.

As to where the shortage is the greatest, smaller cities and towns seem to be struggling more, according to Chriss, who said another deterrent is poor pay and lack of benefits.

Especially when there's an uptick in police officers killed in the line of duty.

Police departments tell NewsChannel 5 people's perception of officers will eventually shift.

But until then, they will continue to change up the way they recruit, make sure police academies are diverse and represent the communities they serve, and find new ways to compete with an improving economy.


Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Rob white @ 3/8/2016 5:10 PM

I don't believe that. I have perfect credit, no criminal history, 120 college units, prior Academy grad, and volunteer at my church teaching kids. I can't get hired for the life of me. Maybe it's not a shortage of recruits, maybe you have to know someone in the ranks.

ftrnr @ 3/8/2016 5:30 PM

Well Rob, perhaps it is the area in which you live. Here in the DC area just about every agency is looking to hire. Perhaps some Chiefs standing behind their troops and the media reporting news instead of just grabbing random lies (the Ferguson accounts for the first few days.....99% lies, and the media never providing headlines stating the real facts because the truth is not news) would impact hiring.....

John retired IA PD @ 3/8/2016 6:29 PM

A news story on this site stated that Chicago PD has reduced the age requirement and done away with the education requirement to get new recruits. Wonder how that will work out for them.

Bud @ 3/9/2016 3:26 AM

Probably just fine, considering I have a handful of college credits and seem to do police work as well as anyone with a college degree.

kevCopAz @ 3/9/2016 12:07 PM

The citizens get what they ask for, as do the departments.Play games with politically correct nonsense, fail to back up officers when they are doing the right thing, and not denouncing those that are anti-police who just plain lie about stats etc, this is the policing that the citizens deserve until things change. I have 35 years as a LE and a family history of over 150 years of LE.Yet based upon what this society has turned into, not one of the 5 surviving retired officers in my family would recommend that anyone, especially our children & grandchildren, even thin of being a LEO until our country gets its collective mind back in the right direction. Cutting benefits, cutting manpower, arm chair quarter backing every move an officer makes, testing the political winds before making any decissions and never backing the officers,the "leaders" of these agencies know what they are doing to destroy police work but only care about their own jobs. Elections,choices & policies have consequence

Wilson @ 3/9/2016 2:10 PM

kevcop you evidently know what your talking about. My two sons have grown up around the job and the oldest wants to follow in the old man's footsteps... 10 years ago I would have supported him going into law enforcement but now I encourage him to be a firefighter, (everybody loves firemen)..

kevCopAz @ 3/9/2016 6:21 PM

Wilson,
Funny that you said that, I told my family the same thing. Fire fighters NEVER get criticized. Granted they save lives, as we do, but we have the power to take lives so I can see the level of scrutiny, but this has gotten out of control. I know my Fathers generation thought that Miranda would "kill police work forever" and they were not correct, but sorry to say this time our fears may come to pass. I just was told by a Chicago PD friend that since they now have to write a report on every traffic stop or contact listing race cause etc etc, the department did 12,000 odd such stops this year, same time last year it was over 100,000. This "Ferguson effect" is real, even if L.E. "leaders and Politicians refuse to admit it. Sad, needs to change..glad Im retired from one department and "semi-retired" in another now.

Big B @ 3/12/2016 7:48 PM

Rob is on to something. It's all on the agencies. There are plenty of good people with good backgrounds like me and Rob, for the life of us have a hard time hooking on to an agency. In my local area, an example, San Jose PD, in dire need of officers, continue to turn away good people, people that are willing to work for them despite having the worst benefits package in the state. Then they continue to cry that they need officers. That's on them and a lot of these agencies it's all on them. How bout stop being so arrogant as an agency, and really look at the total package of the candidate instead of nit picking certain things in backgrounds, these agencies can actually start to get people

Honor1 @ 6/18/2016 9:58 PM

Hey listen, everything has become money money money. The federal government is giving a lot of money to departments to hire officers. Even if they don't hire them officers, the department is given a substantial amount of money towards recruiting, cost of doing so and promotions/overtime to recruit. These towns with budget problems are using these inflated gifts from the feds and report back that they are finding unqualified personnel and need additional money to continue recruiting. That's the budget boost for SJPD. Those few, seven, that they did hire are probably relatives/friends of the town council or mayor or other officers. This is how it is on the East Coast as well. They DQ everybody until they get to their buddy's son or friend/relative of a higher up, higher then and at the same time, grab that federal recruiting money by DQ'ing potential excellent officers for picking up a piece of candy as a child and not returning it to its rightful owner. DQ! Budget increased! That's your answer fellas.

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