Retention and recruitment issues on the Eastern Shore
MARYLAND- A national issue is hitting home as police departments struggle to hire and keep their police officers here on the shore.
Law enforcement officers told 47 ABC this has been a problem departments have been dealing with for years now and many factors play a part, like people having a distorted view on what being a police officer is about.
“We’re all seeing individuals who are not necessarily interested in a 20 or 25 year career any longer,” Salisbury Chief Barbara Duncan said.
But the biggest obstacle that police departments are facing is pay.
“We need to be able to offer a salary that is not only competitive with other agencies in the area but something individuals could sustain themselves and a potential family on,” Salisbury Chief Barbara Duncan said.
Somerset County Sheriff’s Ronnie Howard agrees.
“Our concern here is retention, with our pension system we cannot compete with agencies in surrounding counties and that really hurts us,” Howard said.
We were told law enforcement officers are not letting these problems go unnoticed. Instead, they are trying to be proactive by working with different city and town officials to find a way to increase the pay for their officers.
“We worked with our administration our mayor and our city council very recently to restructure our pay scale,” Duncan said.
The Salisbury Police Department also said they are still looking to fill positions.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can go on their website at salisburypd.com