Police recruiting suffers as morale hits new lows


19 May 2021

AXIOS — Police departments across the country are struggling to attract applicants after a year of racial justice protests against police use of excessive force and calls for police reform dampened morale within the profession.

Why it matters: Recruiting deficits add strain to existing forces and could increase costs through overtime or employee burnout, per the International Association of Chiefs of Police. And if Americans want better police forces, city officials say, this isn’t the way to get them.

  • The trend comes as activists in some cities suggest there could be another “long, hot summer” of unrest in the name of ending police brutality and racial inequity.

By the numbers:

  • Charlotte: Applications were down 26% during the first four months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesperson Rob Tufano tells Axios.
  • Des Moines: The police department got about 300 applicants last month for its newest class of recruits, roughly 50% fewer than a year ago, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesperson for the DMPD. […]

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