Police recruitment low across nation

Departments around the U.S. are struggling to replenish

Britney Smart, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

Police stations across the nation are hitting record lows for applicants, according to ABC News.

Some cities report applications on the decrease up to 90 percent. There is not one answer as to why the numbers might be so low, but there are many theories circling around.

The recent cases and accusations of police brutality and corruption within departments, could potentially be related to the dropping numbers.

Another factor, according to an ABC News July 2016 article shows that departments are not paying well enough for the risks involved

“You can get shot at for $40,000, or be home with your family for $60,000,” said Jim Ritter, a Seattle Police Department recruiter.

Some people might not see the everyday dangers and commitment that it takes, to be worth the risk

“For this job you really need to be able to multitask, and to have a lot of compassion and empathy for citizens” said Sergeant Emma Huenneke of the Chandler Police Department in Arizona.

The police hiring process is extremely extensive and can take up to 3-6 months depending on the department.

For example to be hired by the city of Chandler a recruit must complete a physiological, written, drug, physical, and polygraph test, they also must go through a four-panel interview including questions pertaining to their background. A potential officer must also complete a firearms qualification and must be able to pass a medical examination.

Police stations are attempting to promote the career option with Explorer Programs designed for youth ages 14-21. They can gain insight on being a police officer with physical tests, code memorization activities, and the opportunity to compete against other departments explore teams.

“I started my experience at Chandler Police Department actually as an explorer myself, became a volunteer, park ranger, became a police officer, and now I’m blessed to be able to work with the new up and coming explorers,” said John Somerville, now an Explorer Program director.

Citizens also are able to go on a ride along with officers to see what an average day consists of as well as gain familiarity with officers serving the community.