Law Enforcement Recruitment Down

By: Kelly Barfield
By: Kelly Barfield

Wanted: a few good men. Actually, make that as many good men and women as possible.

"In the past two or three years, law enforcement in general across the county have had issues recruiting qualified candidates for police officers," says Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department.

Many departments face a shrinking pool of qualified candidates. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says many get join the force for the wrong reasons.

J. D. Yeager with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office says, "They get into it, a lot of them, just to have a job and to get a check."

Besides the lack of applicants, there's another issue.

"They're going to the big money and they're going to the better retirement," Childress says.

Officers are leaving local precincts for federal agencies, and that factors into the recruitment problems on the local level.

"We bring these applicants in; we try to train them, but if our salary's not where it's supposed to be at, once we get them trained, they've met their commitment with us and they're going somewhere else."

The Sheriff's Department says it's not worried about their men leaving for a federal position.

Yeager says, "That looks good on us. That means we trained them well.”

In the meantime, law enforcement agencies will keep searching for those just right for the job.


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