Staffing shortages are a concern for law enforcement nationwide

Norman, Oklahoma – Stunning body camera video captured the moment New York City Police Department officers helped rescue a man who had fallen onto subway tracks on Thursday.

Officers – who were on the opposite platform – had to cross a busy city street to reach the man. A Good Samaritan was already trying to help, and together they pulled him out of danger, seconds before a train pulled into the station.

This is just one of the many potentially deadly tasks police officers perform every day. However, law enforcement agencies nationwide are facing staff shortageswith rising retirement rates and scarce new recruits.

The number of new officer hires fell 3.9% in 2021 compared to 2019, according to a national survey conducted earlier this year by the Police Executive Research Forum.

The survey found that there were 23.6% more retirements among law enforcement in 2021 compared to 2019. There were also 42.7% more resignations among law enforcement. order in 2021 compared to 2019 as well. The rise in retirements and resignations was driven in part by low wages, the survey found.

At the Tulsa Police Department, new recruit Cheyenne Walden will not be part of a full class of recruits.

“You know, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Walden told CBS News. “So it’s not a job, more of a career.”

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said he was struggling to fill about 150 positions.

“There is, there was a lot of attention to law enforcement,” Franklin said. “And I think that soured a lot of interested people who wanted to get into the profession. They took a detour, and they left and did something else.”

Smaller law enforcement agencies are also sounding the alarm. sergeant. Shane Roddy of the University of Oklahoma Police Department (OUPD) told CBS News there are about 17 uniformed officers on staff. He said he hadn’t physically trained in an active fire drill in years.

“The University of Oklahoma is just going to have to start funding the OUPD so we can build our numbers to the point where we can start training again,” Roddy said.

In a statement to CBS News, the university said it recently raised salaries for its police departments “on average by nearly 8 percent.” The school noted, however, that the salary increase comes from vacancies that have not been filled. The university, however, also said it has hired three new officers and will “continue to hire more officers in the coming months.”

Additionally, Saturday brings college football to Norman — and even with other departments helping with game day security — with more than 100,000 fans on the University of Oklahoma campus, officers swore. worried about the nightmare scenario.

“There will always be the threat of an active shooter or armed subjects coming onto campus and causing death or serious bodily harm,” Roddy said.

When asked if his department was “staffed enough”, Roddy replied “absolutely not”.

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