Police departments across southeast recruit officers from Birmingham-metro area
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Police departments across the southeast are heavily recruiting officers from our area.
The Gwinnett County Police Department in Georgia recently hosted a hiring event here in Birmingham.
So, how is local law enforcement handling this?
Lt. Joni Money with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Gwinnett County has been here on a few different occasions, but she said it’s unclear how successful they’ve been with recruiting officers from our area.
She said officers and deputies here are great people with impressive backgrounds, which make them attractive to other departments.
“We do have some great people here who were raised with good educations and are very attractive to other agencies.”
Lt. Money is offering high praise for the officers in and around Jefferson County saying it’s no surprise police departments across the southeast are coming here to find new recruits.
“Somebody like Gwinnett County is going to be encountering a lot of competition in their home area because that’s just right outside of Atlanta, the metro area. So, they’re probably competing with agencies like Cobb County, Atlanta P.D., so there’s a lot of competition there,” Lt. Money explained.
She said agencies across the southeast see the value in our officers, so they work hard to convince them to leave, which means local departments must work even harder to get them to stay – an effort Sheriff Mark Pettway isn’t taking lightly.
“He’s in talks with the personnel board as well as the county commission and he’s getting them to review what neighboring agencies and neighboring counties are doing. We’re trying to get our pay scale and our benefit scale restructured to make us even more attractive,” Lt. Money said.
Lt. Money said a lot goes into retaining and recruiting officers, and with a nationwide shortage of qualified applicants, the strategy is start young and defy traditions.
“In Alabama, you can become a law enforcement officer or deputy at the age of 19. So, we’re reaching out in schools and at colleges. To minorities. Women. It’s always important to have women in law enforcement and they make great law enforcement officers and I think that women should probably consider more and look deeper into this career,” Lt. Money explained.
Lt. Money said those interested in becoming law enforcement agents can get a taste of what it’s like by requesting a ride along.
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