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Central Texas Law Enforcement Agencies are recruiting...Do you have the right stuff?

Discussion in 'Other Governmental Matters' started by army judge, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

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    WACO, Texas (KWTX) Area law enforcement agencies are pulling out all the stops in their efforts to attract officer candidates but the pickings are getting slim.

    “I would say it’s getting harder today to find people who want to be police officers,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

    “When I applied (more than 30 years ago) there were thousands of other people who applied as well. Today there are hundreds,” he said.

    The Waco Police Department, along with virtually every other one in Central Texas, has turned to social media to try to attract young people to the job, but the effort certainly doesn’t stop there.

    “We attend job fairs, use advertising, speak to school groups, use Facebook and other social media to get the word out,” Swanton said.

    Social media has become more important in recent years because “that’s the way young people communicate,” Swanton said.

    “We’re seeing that all over, no matter how big or small your department is,” Lacy Lakeview police Chief John Truehitt said.

    The small Lacy Lakeview department hasn’t hired a new recruit in some time, but routinely fills open slots with officers who already are state licensed.

    “We’ve been lucky here because we’ve hired already licensed officers,” he said.

    Bell County Chief Deputy Chuck Cox said it’s basically a never-ending process.

    “We advertise for recruits all the time,” Cox said.

    The Bell County Sheriff’s Department is authorized 238 licensed positions for deputies, jailers and communications officers, Cox said.

    “It’s getting harder to find qualified people,” Cox said.

    He remembered when he left the Army at Fort Hood and signed on as a sheriff’s deputy in September 1977, he worked on the street until the following January when he finally went to the police academy.

    “It was much different back then,” Cox said. “Today it’s tough.”

    In Belton right now, on the city’s webpage, there’s a prominent announcement promising a bonus of $3,000 to any already licensed officer who applies with the Belton Police Department.

    Swanton said Waco police hires lots of already licensed officers, too, but they still have to pass rigorous standards to be hired.

    “They still have to pass a background check, a drug test, a psychological exam and a physical exam and they still have to attend our local police academy but it’s a much shorter course,” Swanton said.

    When an applicant starts at the recruit level, the process through the police academy and initial training can take up to 18 months to have that officer on the streets, Swanton said.

    Waco police sees several hundred applicants each year, but by the time the selection process weaves through the testing and evaluations and boils down to job offers, there aren’t many applicants selected.

    It’s that way all over Texas, Gretchen Grigsby, director of government relations for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, (TCOLE), said.

    Texas, buy the way, has 77,682 licensed peace officers working inside her borders today, Grigsby said.

    “There’s a pretty good amount of scrutiny in the job and that makes it tough (to get applicants), Grigsby said.

    But assessing the current impact on recruiting efforts isn’t easy to do,” Grigsby said, because so much of the issue has to do with geography.

    It’s easier to hire police officers in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio then it is in, say, Midland.

    TCOLE doesn’t direct local agencies in the application or hiring process, but there are standards in place created at TCOLE that any licensed law enforcement officer in Texas must master.

    Wanted: A few good cops
  2. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    If I was younger maybe I'd consider it if they take out-of-state laterals. Now I'm way too old.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I'm currently toying with the idea of a move back to Texas. Possibly as soon as this summer. I'm not exactly young, but not way too old either :)

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