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As Scrutiny of Police Increases, Agencies Face Staffing Shortages

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are facing staffing shortages, with retirement rates up and new recruits in short supply, reports CBS News. New officer hirings are down 3.9 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, says a survey by the Police Executive Research Forum. The survey shows there were 23.6 percent more retirements among law enforcement and 42.7 percent more resignations as well. The study determined the retirement and resignation rate was driven mostly by low pay.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin is struggling to fill about 150 positions. "There is, there was, a lot of scrutiny placed upon law enforcement," Franklin said. "And I think that soured a lot of interested people that wanted to go into the profession. They have made a detour, and they've gone and done something else." Smaller law enforcement agencies are struggling as well. Sgt. Shane Roddy of the University of Oklahoma Police Department, with 20 uniformed officers on staff, said they have not physically trained in an active shooter drill in years. When asked if his department is "adequately staffed," Roddy responded, "absolutely not." The university said it recently raised its police department salaries "on average eight percent" but that the raise is coming from open positions that have yet to be filled. Officers worry about nightmare scenarios. "There's always going to be the threat of an active shooter or armed subjects coming on campus and causing death or great bodily harm," Roddy said.


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