Kansas City, KS Police Department joins nationwide struggle to r - KCTV5

Kansas City, KS Police Department joins nationwide struggle to recruit

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KCTV5 crews tagged along with the department when they helped with a Harvesters food drive at Schlage High School. (KCTV5) KCTV5 crews tagged along with the department when they helped with a Harvesters food drive at Schlage High School. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

The Kansas City, KS Police Department is just one department looking for the next wave of recruits.

Police Chief Terry Zeigler calls it a nationwide problem but says his department has been hit especially hard.

“Are you going to go work for a police department that had two officers killed last year? Or do you want to look for a police department that maybe doesn’t deal with crime and is perceived as safer? Yeah, that plays into it," Zeigler said.

Zeigler says the impact was immediate.

“We had an individual walk out of the academy last year when Capt. Melton got killed. He said he didn't sign on for this. He walked out the door," he said.

Zeigler says his department is stronger and more cautious because of those tragedies. Officers ride together. No one patrols alone.

Zeigler says his department has a huge emphasis on community policing.

Officers are encouraged to keep basketballs in their trunks so they can stop and shoot hoops with kids.

KCTV5 crews tagged along with the department when they helped with a Harvesters food drive at F. L. Schlagle High School.

“There's good work to do here that's community-based and really impacts people's lives. It's not just about throwing bad guys in jail. Yes, you'll get to do that. But man, the other things you get to do to impact people. I can't think of another police department where you can go and have that impact," Zeigler said.

The police department website has more information on pay and benefits. You can click here to see the opportunities.

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