BATON ROUGE- The Baton Rouge Police Department is trying to fill 54 open positions that are currently available. It comes at a time when applications to become a Baton Rouge Police Officer are down, which recruiters say is a national trend.
Pay is one of the biggest challenges. Smaller departments are paying more than the starting $32,979 that a Baton Rouge Police graduate makes during their first year.
A number of graduates from the 83rd academy recently finished this year despite all of the challenges 2016 posed for Baton Rouge between the police shootings and the flood.
"To see the people that stuck with the process, we knew those that were selected wanted to make a difference in the city," Corporal Rendy Richard said.
Richard is a recruiter for Baton Rouge Police. Finding others to fill positions that are currently open is proving to be a tough task.
"This year we saw a decrease (in applicants)," Richard said.
The numbers back that up:
- In 2014, there were 435 applicants and 35 hires.
- In 2015, there were 354 applicants and 58 hires.
- In 2016, there were 338 applicants and 37 hires.
- In 2017, there have been 140 applicants and six hires.
"Dallas, Houston, everybody they are seeing a major trend in the drop in law enforcement," Richard said. "That's a scary thought."
For a department that has about 600 officers on the streets, typically there are about 15 to 40 openings. Currently there are 54 openings, which police say is a higher number than usual.
"In 2012, we did a study looking at retirement dates," Richard said. "It was projected in 2012, that in 2015 and 2016 we would be a year that we would have attrition issues with retirement."
Trying to keep up is certainly not easy when other departments are paying more. State Police starts off their new Troopers almost $10,000 more than Baton Rouge Police.
"We also have to be able to play in the game with the money," Richard said. "Because to young generations, they have to be able to afford to do this job."
The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering a candidate prep class this Saturday, May 27, for anyone who is interested in trying to become a police officer. Details are below:
The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering a Candidate Prep Class at BRPD Headquarters, 9000 Airline Hwy, on May 27, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. There is no charge to attend this informative event that will help prepare you for the BRPD hiring process. Candidates will have the opportunity to perform the physical fitness test while being evaluated by the training staff. Employ BR will also be present to provide an interview workshop.
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