CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Police departments across the country are experiencing shortages of officers, including in Central Pa. One of those departments dealing with this is the DuBois Police Department, which is short three full-time officers right now, as well as several part-time positions.
15 full-time officers are currently on staff, and due to this low number, and the inability of the department to fill these positions, an added toll falls on the officers already within the department, who answer about 18,000 calls per year, the department assistant chief Dustin Roy estimated
“It’s taxing on the other officers that are trying to fill that void,” Roy said.
In addition to the full-time officers needed, DuBois Police is also looking for several part-time positions, needed to provide 24/7 man security at Penn Highlands DuBois.
This issue of finding these officers has grown over the years, as the number of recruits that come out of the
Academy continues to shrink.
“Most guys here, when they went to the academy, you would be in a class with maybe around 40 or 50 other cadets. And now the class sizes are more like 14, or 15. Some schools I’ve contacted were even in the single digits,” Roy said.
As the department struggles to lure recruits to enter the force, the weight of the responsibilities falls on the dwindling number of officers that remain.
But these shortages are not unique to just DuBois, Roy said he has spoken with surrounding departments who also require more officers. As a result of these shortages, overtime hours are up this year higher than in previous years.
“There has to be someone to fill those positions. I mean, we just don’t have the luxury, nor would we want to, just not have someone here,” Roy said. “Everyone seems to be hiring and it doesn’t seem like they’re filling their positions like they probably would like.”
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