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Area agencies say hiring hasn’t slowed during nationwide officer shortage

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 8:34 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The National Police Foundation reports 86% of departments nationwide are experiencing an officer shortage.

This comes as no surprise, as the hiring of officers has been on a five-year decline.

The Bismarck Police Department has three officer openings, and received 25 applications. Less than usual.

“Typically keeping it open for a month long period of time I’m getting probably 50 to 60 applicants,” said Lt. Roger Marks.

For the department, retention and turnover rates have always been an issue

“I think we’re hiring people for a period of time. Maybe 5-years or so, and then they move on to something else, either another agency, or to the private sector, or getting a different job outside of law enforcement,” said Marks.

The opposite can be said for much smaller McLean County. The Sheriff’s Office has its first deputy opening in nearly two years.

“The longevity at our department has proven that a lot of people stay here until they retire,” said Lt. Justin Krohmer.

Lt. Krohmer says the department is known for promoting within.

“A lot of times we do focus on bringing up our staff from the correctional staff into patrol. It gives them an incentive which in return makes the staff down there stay longer because they have a goal to come out on the road,” said Krohmer.

He says the department is narcotics driven, which attracts potential deputies.

Eleven have applied for the current opening.

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