HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The Hagerstown Police Department is facing a shortage of officers, according to the HPD police chief. The police chief, Captain Paul Kifer, revealed this during Tuesday afternoon’s city council meeting.
The HPD is allowed a total of 106 officers, but currently only has 88. Since January 2020, the department has lost 22 members through various means such as officers relocating or quitting the force altogether. Of those 22, 8 were lost since January 2021 alone.
Hagerstown Police are currently working to combat this by ramping up their recruitment methods and are even attempting to source officers from nearby states like Pennsylvania.
“Our short-term plan is to aggressively go after certified officer candidates to replenish our ranks faster, whether they’re Maryland-certified, or PA certified … Our long-term plan is to continue to work with our cadet program and hopefully expand that,” said Kifer.
The police chief said a culture change is believed to be a large contributor to the shortage, as officers who work in policing for multiple decades are becoming rarer. This new recruitment effort will focus partially on filling spots that those long-term employees would typically be filling.