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Local police having tough time filling vacancies

Police agencies around the area are experiencing a shortage of police officers.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 6:21 PM

UTICA - When a police officer gets a promotion, retires, or decides to leave the job, it usually creates a job vacancy. Filling those vacancies is becoming more difficult for police agencies across the country, and Utica Police Chief Mark Williams tells us why.

"This new millennium generation is more apt to quit, rather than our generation used to stick it out and try to make it work."

Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach tells us there’s other challenges that limit the hiring process.

"Unfortunately in this line of business you know our police academy’s only run once a year. It’s a very tough process that we go through."

Becoming a police officer is a tough task. These are just some of the things you have to go through to become a police officer:

"A physical agility test. We call the people in. They fill out background packets. They’re backgrounds, polygraph. And then there’s a panel interview with the command staff. There’s psychological testing. Now they have to go through medical testing. Before they even get to an oral interview. Then they have to go through drug testing. The process is several months long before we even choose who we’re going to hire. Then the final phase is sitting down with a public safety psychiatrist to see based on your answers are they suitable to be a police officer."

Once the testing is completed and the officers finish the academy, then they have to go through on the job training. All that takes time and money. Police officers often leave city departments for the State Police to make more money, or smaller departments for less stress. Either way keeping experienced police officers is becoming more difficult with each generation.

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