GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Recruitment efforts are underway as the number of Montgomery County police officers dropped over the past year.
The department now has to fill 35 open positions for the next police training academy, January 2022. There are public outreach efforts to get more engaged and familiar with law enforcement. Two new programs are in place for those who are in the hiring process: a pre-hire program and an officer mentorship program, both to help get those potential officers in gear.
Recruiters say finding new officers have been a struggle, and some of it has to do with recent public mistrust in the police. There are similar challenges for recurring and retention for several other departments in the area.
Montgomery County Police Department Captain, David Smith said, “There’s so many different areas of law enforcement that you can get into serving as a Montgomery County police officer, from undercover detective work to criminal investigations to special tactics to community engagement to traffic enforcement.”
As many departments have similar strategies in place to recruit more officers, MCPD says there are perks in working for the county, like special training and working in a diverse community. Data shows police resignations rose 26% from 2020 to 2021.