Albany Police Department in need of officers

Albany Police Department in need of officers
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Jon Howard, Ward I City Commissioner (Source: WALB)
Jon Howard, Ward I City Commissioner (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There's a shortage of police officers at the Albany Police Department.

APD Chief Michael Persley said there are 26 entry-level positions vacant and he wants to change those numbers.

Persley said it's a new era of recruiting and retaining police officers.

The efforts made ten years ago are not the same as those used today, but the basic foundation of serving and protecting the public is still in place.

Persley said technology is being utilized more as well as working to maintain and improve community relationships.

And the biggest factor for recruiting, training and retaining officers is money.

Persley said his department is competing against all the other Southwest Georgia police departments as well as sheriff's offices and Georgia State Patrol posts when looking for candidates.

"To anyone who is interested in a career in law enforcement, you know, hey, you can come and put in your application here because I can guarantee you that we'll make sure that you have a rewarding experience here in Albany," said Persley.

Ward 1 City Commissioner Jon Howard agrees. For the last several years, he said it's a tough job to recruit and retain police officers.

"When we don't have enough police officers on the street, and that's when individuals may be aware of that and that's when you'll probably see some spike in certain spots of community crime which will continue to escalate," said Howard.

Howard also thinks offering an incentive would help retain officers.

He doesn't want to see new officers trained in Albany then leave for other offers in different cities, so if city leaders can help with the pay scale then perhaps there would be higher levels of retainment.

The next day for APD interviews is on May 16 at 1:30.

So far Chief Persley says 13 people have signed up.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.