Grandview Police Dept changes recruiting strategy as it struggles to fill officer positions
GRANDVIEW, Mo. (KCTV) - The Grandview Police Department hopes sponsoring recruits for academy training and education will help fill the department’s many vacant positions.
Around the state, there are more than 100 vacant officer positions statewide with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Area law enforcement agencies like GPD are also struggling to fill vacant officer positions, as the department is down eight officers right now, forcing them to readjust operations.
Grandview police are using some of their 2022-2023 budget to sponsor them.
Administration Sgt. Jacob Gross said the department is finding more success hiring because of that, rather than promoting or moving positions laterally within the department.
“We’re seeing more of the way of recruiting from outside of law enforcement as opposed to lateral transfers or people who are bringing themselves in on their own,” he said.
The sponsorship pays for academy education and salary while they’re in the academy, which totals about $22,000 for each recruit.
Once in the department, new Grandview police officers typically make a salary of around $42,000, according to the City of Grandview’s website.
Gross said they have hired six people through the process so far including now Officer Diana Barreras. She applied around November last year, completed the academy in May, and has been on patrol since.
“Early in my twenties, I realized that was the direction I wanted to go in. I spent some time doing other things and as that time progressed I still felt that desire to go into law enforcement,” she said.
The former college softball player and FedEx delivery driver is changing her life in hopes of changing others.
“Change to the community, but change to the program, changes to law enforcement. That’s what I want people to see is we’re changing within so people have a different persona of law enforcement,” she said.
Gross said he could see more coming in, but the number of applicants fluctuates throughout the year. Regardless, the people applying for the sponsorship and open positions are doing it because they know they want to be there.
“It’s not a job that you do or a career that you do where you want to maybe get your feet wet and think about it. So, the people who come in, but especially the people coming in right now in this recruiting time, they’re really excited and they want to do the job,” he said. “They’re very passionate about doing it and wanting to get involved.”
Barreras said for those thinking about doing this, take advantage of the opportunity and take a leap of faith to join the force.
You can find more on this sponsorship HERE.
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