Local law enforcement offices in Tallapoosa County are short staffed and need officers to fill out the agencies. Dadeville Police Department has three openings, Alexander City Police has two openings, the Tallapoosa County Sherriff’s Department has an opening and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is recruiting new officers for its marine patrol.
The police shortage was brought up at the Oct. 8 Dadeville City Council meeting when an officer said the city police department was short staffed. Chief Jonathan Floyd said the department is slotted for 15 officers and is looking for qualified applicants.
“It’s not just Dadeville Police Department,” Floyd said. “I have spoken with other agencies and they have the same problems as we do as far as (recruiting)… We’ve made the announcements that we’re hiring. We do have a pool of applicants that will be tested in the future.”
According to a 2018 brief from the U.S. Department of Justice, sworn in officers decreased from 724,690 in 2013 to 701,169 in 2016. However the number of full-time sworn officers increased about 52,000 people from 1997-2016.
“It’s something crazy the amount of shortage there is nationwide,” Alexander City police chief Jay Turner said.
Floyd said all officers will start at patrol at the DPD and those who serve there should know Dadeville residents deserve the best.
“When you work for the City of Dadeville it’s more like working for a family than a regular job,” Floyd said. “We care about one another and we take pride in the fact that we represent the citizens of Dadeville. When you join the Dadeville Police Department, you’re joining the family.”
Applications for the DPD can be picked up at the station or at its website dadevillepd.org.
Alexander City Police Department has two openings and still has six officers currently attending the police academy who are set to graduate in November. Turner said it’s frequent to have openings at police depatments.
“Some of (the reasons less people apply is) the pay,” Turner said. “Some of it’s the sentiment toward police nowadays. Basically it’s a different time. I’ve seen several agencies started doing hiring bonuses and all kind of recruitment to join them. I think on average nobody looks into it as a profession anymore.”
The ACPD fills up at 51 sworn officers and 17 civilians.
The ACPD recruits officers at job fairs and has traveled to Birmingham and Montgomery to meet potential officers. Turner said most of the department is made up of Alexander City natives.
“This is our town and they want to make a difference and give back,” Turner said. “I’ll say the biggest thing if you live here and you want to make a bigger difference in the community, we have a great (department). Anything you can do to give back to the town.”
Those interested in applying should go to the ACPD.
Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department is looking at filling one position and recently interviewed six applicants. Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said the department does not receive a lot of job applications.
“Hopefully this position this we fill will go into the academy in January once we complete our selection process,” Abbett said. “You never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
The sheriff’s department tops out at 25 arresting officers and deputies. The department recruits through word of mouth and Facebook.
An issue with the sheriff’s department hiring is having applicants pass the physical fitness test before hiring them.
“We do not send anybody (to the police academy) who cannot pass the test,” Abbett said. “I think the bottom line is like our mission statement: We’re here to serve our people, protect our people and prevent crimes in the county.”
Those interested in applying should go to the sheriff’s department.
The ALEA recently announced it is recruiting officers for its marine patrol division so new officers will be prepared for summer next year. Those interested in applying should apply at alea.gov/about-alea/employment-information.