TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Police officer shortages have plagued police departments across the country. In fact, 66% of departments are seeing a noticeable drop in applicants--Terre Haute is no exception.
"I believe nationwide, police agencies are just down," Sergeant Matt Ames of Indiana State Police said, "Whether it's here at Vigo County Sheriff's Department, Terre Haute Police Department, nationwide we are just actively down."
Public Information Officer for the Terre Haute Police Department Ryan Adamson said it's not just a lack of applicants, but qualified applicants.
He thinks it may be a Millenial trend. He says the biggest problems with recent applicants are excessive drug use, excessive debt, and people not wanting to work the long hours that come with the job.
For example, T.H.P.D. had 253 total applicants last February. Out of those 253, 87 showed up the day of the physical (agility) and written tests. Only 35 passed those two tests.
Adamson says many applicants simply are not finishing the application process. "We are getting the applicants, but what we are not getting are people to show up for the testing and then continue the paperwork after that."
T.H.P.D. is doing what they can to fight this trend. They used to take applications every two years, however, now they take applications every February.
Their marketing of police officer hirings has increased significantly and they are always actively recruiting. They put up billboards, run commercials, and hammer social media all in attempts to get more applicants.
T.H.P.D. street officer Travis Clements says this job is incredibly rewarding and would recommend it to anyone. "Helping people is the fun part of the job," Clements says, "Making the community a safer place--that's what I enjoy."
You can apply to be a police officer on their website. That's TerreHautePD.com.