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Application Rate for Jobs at U.S. Agencies Plummets

December 05, 2018  | 

Nationwide, interest in becoming a police officer is down significantly. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. Even the FBI had a sharp drop, from 21,000 applications per year to 13,000 last year, before a new marketing campaign brought an upswing.

And retaining officers once they’ve joined is getting harder, too. In a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) survey of nearly 400 police departments, 29 percent of those who left their police job voluntarily had been on the force less than a year, and an additional 40 percent had been on the job less than five years, the Washington Post reports.

At a PERF gathering in Washington on Tuesday of police chiefs and commanders from across the country, many attributed their declining numbers to a diminished perception of police in the years after the shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 and an increase in public and media scrutiny of police made possible by technology and social media.

“There’s an increased potential for officers to be criminally liable for making a good-faith mistake,” said Terry Sult, the police chief in Hampton, Va. “We’re seeing a lot more media coverage of officers being prosecuted, and that weighs heavily on a lot of officers' hearts. ... That’s a stressor on whether I want to stay in this position or not.”

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Jim Barrett @ 12/5/2018 7:06 PM

Think of all the benefits they're missing. Getting derided by the fake news. hated by the people they try to protect, thrown under the bus by their departments , told they're racists, homophobic, and whatever ist and phobe is popular at the moment. Hey, I know, let antifa and black lives matter patrol the streets! Glad I'm retired!!!!

Tom ret @ 12/5/2018 9:35 PM

Yes indeed, good to be retired. This should be no surprise to anyone other than the brain dead liberals part of which is the lame street media.

Greg Connor @ 12/6/2018 7:40 AM

Keep in mind this is the same PERF (Just because the word perfection starts out that way, there're far from it!) that endorsed the body camera fiasco that demeaned the police, the deescalation phenomenon that endangered them, and the "kinder gentler" approach culminating in the conditions we face today.

PERF could start to redeem themselves by publishing the "real" data on crime causation, police roles and responsibilities, and pushing police executives for more support of the men and women on the street! Additionally, the institution of policing must act with more unison supporting the peace officers in the communities they have sworn to protect, and blending those communities with the struggles toward crime suppression.
The conditions and resulting effects should be no surprise . . . the were not only predictable, but shameful in scope, style, and senselessness!

Rob @ 12/6/2018 8:05 AM

Thank you Jay Nixon, former (thankfully) Governor of the Great State of Missouri, for causing the worst thing for LE since Rodney jerk! Just because you wanted to be Hillary's VP, you dumped on every cop in the country by the way you handled that crap! Thankful I'm on the downhill side of my time in this stuff. Feel sorry for all the good kids just starting.

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