BRPD working overtime to fill open positions
BATON ROUGE - BRPD recruiters are working overtime to fill more than 100 open positions. Twice a year, rookies get sworn in after graduating from the training academy, but even that may not be enough.
"We host an academy, get people in, it bumps us up back to our numbers," Lt. L'Jean McKneely said. "Then we have a group retire, [and] that lowers our number."
The department has room for 700 uniformed officers, but currently has fewer than 600 out on the streets.
"It would be awesome for us, [as it would mean] additional programs we could run, additional man power on the streets, and our service time would decrease because we have additional man power on the street," McKneely said.
It's not just officers they need. There are dozens of positions waiting to be filled.
"We have vacancies at dispatch on Harding, we have vacancies over at CIU, or crime information unit, and we have vacancies in the clerical position," McKneely said.
BRPD hopes a sign-on bonus of up to $15,000.00, benefits, and a comfortable retirement plan attract new people.
"For all job openings here at BRPD, we are reaching out, sharing the benefits," McKneely said. "For becoming an actual dispatcher, there is bonus money available, and for becoming law enforcement, right now, there is money available for sign-on bonuses."
Would-be employees don't have to live in the city to work in the city. BRPD is hoping that gives them a leg up on surrounding agencies also struggling to recruit.
"It's not just Baton Rouge police, it's across the board, we're all looking for new officers," McKneely said.
On Tuesday, anyone interested can attend their recruiting event. It starts at 6 p.m. at headquarters on Airline Highway. They are also hosting a citizens academy in the fall.
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