Pennsylvania has recently announced a new officer retention and recruitment campaign to combat officer shortages plaguing the commonwealth.
As calls to defund the police and the assault on those sworn to protect us continues, Police departments across Pennsylvania have been experiencing historic officer shortages. According to the PA Municipal Police Officer’s Training Education and Training Commission (MPOETC), there were 1,229 officer vacancies and at least 350 openings at Pennsylvania 911 call centers at the beginning of 2022.
Struggling to fill these positions, The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has recently announced a new officer retention and enlistment program funded through the Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program. The state has allocated $135 million to local police departments to recruit the next generation of police officers, upgrade equipment, and establish new units such as crisis-intervention teams. The program will also include a $1200 bonus for officers in good standing aimed at law enforcement personnel retention.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who have taken on extra shifts and worked longer hours, under the toughest conditions of their careers, to protect the public,” said PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “I want to thank Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for including this support, and I will continue to push until we fill the historic number of vacant positions in police departments across Pennsylvania.”
“I know that money alone will not reverse the shortage of officers in our departments,” said AG Shapiro. “Being a police officer is an honorable profession and is one of the best ways to serve the public. We need a coordinated statewide response that includes recruitment programs that create new pathways to policing by introducing young people and the public to all the positive impact they can make in law enforcement and other in-need public safety careers.”