The Boston (MA) Police Department — as well as agencies throughout Massachusetts — is seeing a massive decline in the number of people seeking entry-level law enforcement jobs.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told the Boston Herald, "I think it’s the lowest we’ve ever had for people taking the exam."

According to the Herald, the current civil service list for entry-level police jobs has 2,536 names on it.

Thirty years ago, there were between 15,000 and 20,000 people vying for a career with the Boston Police Department, former Boston Police Superintendent in chief Dan Linskey told the Herald.

Many police leaders say the falloff in the number of applicants is the result of violent attacks on police, as well as boisterous criticism of police, often from hostile crowds gathered around crime scenes.

"Violence has always gone on, but it seems more intense now," Linskey said. "Any use of force by a police officer is under a lot more scrutiny — it’s balancing act and the crux for law enforcement is trying to find out what that balance is."