Law enforcement struggle with recruitment - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement struggle with recruitment

Some police departments in South Georgia are having difficult hiring new employees, and the reasons for it are pretty simple: pay. (Source: WALB) Some police departments in South Georgia are having difficult hiring new employees, and the reasons for it are pretty simple: pay. (Source: WALB)
Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals (Source: WALB) Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County Assistant Chief Kenneth Johnson (Source: WALB) Dougherty County Assistant Chief Kenneth Johnson (Source: WALB)
But for some, strong leadership isn't enough to recruit new officers. It's the pay. (Source: WALB) But for some, strong leadership isn't enough to recruit new officers. It's the pay. (Source: WALB)
(WALB) -

Some police departments in South Georgia are having difficulty hiring new employees, and the reasons for it are pretty simple: pay.

"I wants to have enough deputies because we mostly running 1-2 short at all times," said Terrell County Sheriff John Bowens.

And there is a police shortage in many communities. But, not all.

"Without your personnel where would you be. I got a great, great group of personnel people," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

Rachals said attracting people isn't always about the job, it's the leadership.

He started his career back in 1982.

"Police officers standing around from Albany PD and I said you know I'd like to do that and that opportunity to be able to help somebody through a crisis that they may be going through," said Rachals.

While rising through the ranks, he admired former Dougherty County Sheriff Jamil Saba.

"How he connected with the community and was there for the community and also how he connected with the public and on how, his approach on folks and how if they had an issue or if somebody just to talk to he was there for them," said Rachals.

Approachable and accessible are two traits Rachals carries to work everyday.

But for some, strong leadership isn't enough to recruit new officers. It's the pay.

"It's like show me the money. At the same time, working for the Dougherty County Police it's a family-oriented place," said Dougherty County Assistant Chief Kenneth Johnson.

Johnson said it's often difficult to hire and retain young officers because of the lower-paying salary in small counties.

While law enforcement veterans focus on growth, comradery and pride in their work.

Johnson said aside to the pay, there are many other perks officers should keep in mind.

Recognition in the community and working with a tight-knit team.

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