With interest declining, hiring new police officers proving to be a challenge in West Fargo
WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – To keep up with the growth of the city, the West Fargo Police Department is looking to expand its force.
The department is looking to hire three new officers but with interest in working in law enforcement on the decline, it won’t be an easy task.
In 2010, West Fargo Police responded to around 11,000 service calls.
Last year, that number rose to over 30,000.
“We’re definitely getting busier as the city continues to grow, and there’s not probably going to be a downturn in that any time soon,” said Asst. Chief Jerry Boyer.
Boyer says one of the biggest challenges in hiring new officers is the limited pool of candidates.
“We do have very high expectations of our officers,” he explained.
The recent civil unrest doesn’t help with recruitment efforts, but Boyer says the department is looking for someone who understands the diversity of the community and has compassion and empathy.
“We really want to hire people who are good-quality people first; make sure that they’ve got good life experience in whatever category of their life that is, whether it’s personal or professional.”
That includes people of all walks of life.
“We’re looking for both those people maybe who have always thought about being a police officer and getting out and helping their community, and maybe they’ve gone through a transition in their life where they’ve decided to go to the academy. We’re also looking for those young people who maybe have experienced some things growing up,” Boyer said.
If the right candidate doesn’t come along, he says the spots will remain vacant.
“That’s why we’re fortunate. We don’t have to hire anybody. We can continue to keep our standards high and make sure we’re hiring the right people,” he added.
The department currently has 67 police officers.