Peace Officers Hard To Find - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Peace Officers Hard To Find

Local sheriff offices and police departments say open positions are getting harder and harder to fill. Officials say competition from higher paying jobs is just too high.   Sheriff James Campbell of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department recently lost five of his deputies.

"We only have 14 deputies to start with, field deputies, so it hurts," said Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell. Sheriff Campbell says four of them went to Afghanistan to work for a private security company. They will make $120,000.00 compared to a $30,000.00 salary in Cherokee County.

"There's usually a cycle that comes around," said Sheriff Campbell. "The oil patch will get hot and you lose a lot of law enforcement officers to work in the oil field. They pay so well and right now you have a lot of federal jobs opening up for security work with Homeland Security." The Longview Police Department recently filled several openings. Earlier this month, eleven police officers were commissioned.  Ten others joined the police academy.   The Tyler Police Department is now looking for eight officers after it says several police retired.  

"We have a 182 officers, so there's always going to be a few vacancies in the department," said Tyler Assistant Police Chief Steve Sharron. "What we want to do is stay ahead of the curve where we don't get in some situations that other departments are in where we are really fighting to get officers here."  Both Sheriff Campbell and Tyler police say despite the shortage of officers, they will not lower their standards and continue to look for the best qualified.

Larger city police departments like Fort Worth and Dallas say they also have several open positions for officers.   If your interested in learning more about working for the Tyler Police Department, an open house will be held there on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Molly Reuter, reporting.


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