Police forces are looking to hire

Shortage of officers is critical

Urban police departments in the United States are facing a “personnel crisis,” according to The New York Times.

The following factors contribute the shortage in city police departments:

•new recruits are at an all-time low;

•experienced officers are turning down promotions to sergeant or lieutenant;

•senior officers are declining to become police chiefs; and,

•officers are quitting for higher salaries in the suburbs or the private sector.

Given that crime is at its lowest level in over 35 years, the shortage is surprising. Recruiters and officers themselves say the police force is no longer as attractive, given higher salaries elsewhere and constant criticism from the public and the media. Long hours and the politics involved in senior positions also discourage officers from making law enforcement a career.

In an effort to attract and retain officers, police departments are looking at shorter work weeks. However, this solution presents its own problems, as officers need to be available to testify in court.

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