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Are law enforcement agencies really having a hiring problem?

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  • Are law enforcement agencies really having a hiring problem?


  • #2
    Originally posted by Crossroads King View Post
    Because of standards.

    Yes we are having problems finding qualified applicants down here. The economy is doing well and there's a lot more jobs out there with less BS.

    When the socialists get back in office we'll get a lot more applicants.

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    • #3
      In my area...yes, absolutely.

      There's no shortage of applicants. It's finding qualified applicants that can do well in oral exams, written exams, exhibit good decision-making AND pass a background investigation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Where we used to get 30 candidates for one opening we are now lucky to get 10. Of those 10 we might get 4 to pass testing & if we are lucky we might have a good solid ONE to hire
        Last edited by Iowa #1603; 01-10-2020, 02:11 PM.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          It's quite true. My small department is currently going through hiring...6 applicants, 3 passed the test, and none of them are currently certified (hiring certified candidates is generally the rule rather than the exception in my area for a department our size...we havn't sent someone through the academy in decades). And that's before we start the interview/background process where 90% of candidates wash out.

          The reality is, nobody wants to get into LE anymore. Private sector jobs have better pay, as good or better benefits, better schedules, and considerably less stress. It used to be that LE was a good, recession-proof career with above-average benefits and competitive pay.. At least in my area, that's not true anymore...pay has been at a standstill (barely keeping up with inflation and heath care cost increases), retirement has been progressively eroded away by the state legislature, and the "great recession" resulted in the first widespread LE layoffs in recent memory. Departments have resorted to stealing officers from other departments to fill their ranks. LE also has an image crisis among the Millennial generation.
          "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
          -Friedrich Nietzsche

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
            Departments have resorted to stealing officers from other departments to fill their ranks..
            We prefer to call it strategic hiring.

            Small sheriff's office with 11 sworn. .................We haven't sent anyone to the academy since 2011 & have hired 8 since then. 5 of our hires have been from the 2 city PD's in our county and 2 from PD's in other counties . We even poached one from the large agency in the next county that pays 30% higher.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              Recruitment problems are not new. It is among the worst times for hiring.

              I work in Silicon Valley. We have been hiring like crazy for almost 20 years straight. There was no pause during the Great Recession.

              We get hit two fold: it’s expensive to live here, very expensive and the extreme scrutiny of policing here.

              Why would a smart individual subject themselves to a job where the prevailing attitude is the legal doctrine of double jeopardy doesn’t apply to you?
              semper destravit

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              • #8
                Applications are down across the board in my area. A local department poached one of our guys a few months ago, and we just poached someone from another agency.

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                • #9
                  I am in charge of the hiring for my department and we're still hiring people, but we are at 87% "capacity" as far as are maximum allotted officers. We are offering a $10,000 hiring bonus just for in-state certified officers, which has generated some interest... The problem for us isn't finding people who want to do the job, the problem is finding people who want to do it who are capable and don't have something that will knock them out of the process. Just had a young guy put in an application and stated it was his "lifelong dream", was super gung-ho about doing whatever we asked him to do, sent in all the documentation we required quickly, etc... then he gets to the polygraph and admits that he had shoplifted three times within the last year... We also are in an area with a very high cost of living... more than a couple of candidates have withdrawn from the process because they couldn't find affordable housing.
                  Be dangerous, and unpredictable... and make a lot of noise. - John Bush, Anthrax

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                  • #10
                    Keep in mind, too, that the country's been at hisotorically low unemployment levels for quite a long time. In my area, private companies are having as much problem filling openings as we are in the public sector.

                    2 career fields tend to benefit from high unemployment: public service and the military. Right now, we're in the statistical valley.

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                    • #11
                      Have you all been able to keep up with replacing the people who retire? Genuinely curious, because I know this is a problem on the federal side.

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                      • #12
                        My agency is certainly hurting. Different field offices see different levels of interest. My job in many parts of the country is seen as a pretty good job from a compensation standpoint. Here in CA and especially the Bay Area it isn't enough to survive unless you have family to live with or a two income household and your SO is making better money than you are.

                        People turn down the job regularly when they are told they have to come here. All federal agency's I know of are having this problem in the Bay Area.

                        Since I came on, my FO has shrunk about 10-15%. From an announcement a few years back we were told we could hire 14 new agents. 12 that applied for our FO made it through initial screening and testing. 6 ultimately took offers and only 5 made it through training. So wanted 14 and got 5. It's been more or less the same or worse since then.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Levithane View Post
                          Have you all been able to keep up with replacing the people who retire? Genuinely curious, because I know this is a problem on the federal side.
                          No, absolutely not. In my area it's gotten to the point of being dangerous, and sad. If the public keeps s&^*%%3n on officers, it will only get worse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some departments don't do themselves any favors. For example one department I know doesn't publish the standards for when they will DQ people for marijuana use... based on the belief people will lie and state a number under their DQ line... so you get people applying and then the applicant wastes their time applying and doing the packet only to be DQ'ed out once the packet is reviewed (wastes the investigator's time, too).

                            I've spoken to departments that will hire someone with minor criminal records but then not hire laterals with minor disciplinary records. I would assume that would frustrate laterals and it builds a poor reputation.

                            I think the vast majority of departments do themselves a disfavor and the applicant a disfavor by not stating why they did not accept someone. Plus I think it's ridiculous that a public agency is not required to disclose to an applicant why they were not accepted. I brought this up to the hiring supervisors and they were adamant that people could not be told why we were not hiring them. They also didn't want to publish certain disqualifiers on our website. All of this was a waste of time. Some people I felt could be good police in a few years if they just got some more real world experience and matured a little bit but I couldn't tell them this.

                            Honestly, working in backgrounds, I can't help but feel police departments deserve the hiring problems we're facing because we've made it so difficult. We can like to pretend we all have high standards, but if that were true our fellow officers wouldn't be doing terrible and illegal things. A better word I would use is our standards are "onerous" rather than "high" in many instances. And talking to supervisors on why we would not select some laterals, in the back of my mind all I keep saying is "I know you've done worse"...

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                            • #15
                              I have a dep chief buddy at a small department (30 officers). He said their strategy is to visit the local community college halfway through an academy and hire the first person who raises their hand when asked "Who is self sponsoring?" The result is getting someone who was working WalMart security three months ago, now overjoyed to get a police officer job making $17 hour, and the department doesn't have to pay academy tuition. Win-win, right? The downside is the city no longer offers a pension plan, and within two or three years, the person wisens up about long term finances and jumps to one of the larger departments in the area which still does. So it's a never ending attrition loop, always in hire mode, and the department suffers from the inability to build a solid core of officers dedicated to the community for the long run. My buddy says they've told city bean counters and policy makers about the problem but they couldn't care less, they're just happy not to be paying pensions anymore to former employees who live for thirty years after retiring....
                              Chance favors the prepared mind.

                              -Louis Pasteur

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