Muskogee Police Office Shortage Straining Department
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - The Muskogee Police Department is so understaffed, they're offering up $10,000 to attract new recruits--but that's still not getting them the number of applicants they were hoping for.
For Muskogee Police Officer Jeff Johnson, working in law enforcement has been his dream job since he was a kid.
"Most little kids always want to be a police officer or a firefighter," he said. "That's what they see as their heroes. It's just what I've always wanted, get into law enforcement."
Johnson said MPD was the best fit for him--not too big, not too small. It allows him to dip his toes in different areas.
"We pretty much get a little piece of everything, so we're pretty well-rounded," Johnson said.
Right now, the department is down about 10 officers, which means officers, like Johnson, on patrol have to work harder.
"It makes it tougher for the guys out there on the streets," Officer Lincoln Anderson said. "They're having to take a lot more calls because they are short-handed."
The deadline for the next recruiting class is coming up. So far, Anderson said they've received about 65 applications.
"At the end of the day, we're still struggling to get people," he said.
He said out of those 65, they'll lose half to the physical test, and even more to the written exam.. and that's before background checks and polygraph tests.
"What we would like to see is about a hundred people out there competing for these jobs," Anderson said.
Despite a $10,000 signing bonus for certified officers, and $5,000 for non-certified officers, the department is still struggling to recruit candidates.
The application deadline is March 1st, and testing starts the next day.
For more information on how to apply, go to the Muskogee Police Department website.