Some law enforcement agencies continue to face difficulty recruiting new officers

Local law enforcement agencies facing difficulty recruiting new officers
©KOAM News

CARTHAGE/JOPLIN, Mo. – As businesses continue to face issues hiring new employees, there’s one group that’s had trouble recruiting for years. Some local law enforcement agencies are continuing to face recruiting issues.

We spoke with three law enforcement agencies in Jasper County about recruiting and retaining officers. Captain Will Davis with the Joplin Police Department says they have seven new recruits in the law enforcement academy now, but it’s still not enough. “We’re still 13 positions short here at the police department and that’s just the attrition that we’ve seen over the last several years.”

In Jasper County, they are facing similar issues. Sergeant Roy Teed with the Jasper County Sheriff’s office says “It could always be better, it’s a constant revolving door of trying to get employees to come and want to work in law enforcement.”

The Carthage Police Department on the other hand, is seeing the opposite. Lieutenant Chad Dininger with the Carthage Police Department says “We’ve been very fortunate at this department by maintaining good retention of our employees, we do do recruiting on occasion, that’s really just to make sure our name is still out there and giving recruits and people that are interested in law enforcement an idea of what Carthage Police Department is all about.”

For the department’s facing staffing issues, they’re working on getting creative and offering programs and incentives to recruits. Captain Davis says “We will hire a person on and send them to the academy and we’ll pay for those academy costs whereas, any other individual may have to pay that out of pocket if they send themselves to the academy.”

Davis says there’s an extra perk to that as well. “Also as you’re going through class you’re an employee so you’re earning a paycheck while you’re sitting in class learning and being trained to be a police officer.”

In Jasper County, they have the benefit of the jail for those who may be interested in joining the force. Sergeant Teed says “At 18 years old, someone can work in the detention center, find out if law enforcement is even the field they want to work in.”

Teed says they also offer scholarship opportunities to those people to get into the academy.

Both Joplin and Jasper County are actively searching for officers and deputies. If you’re interested in a law enforcement career, you can reach out to either agency to get more information.

Previous story from September 2020: Local police departments facing challenges recruiting new officers