Tyler Police Department trying new methods to help increase recruitment

“The more people who apply, the more quality candidates we can get to be there when you need us.”
Tyler police department expands methods to increase recruitment
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 7:21 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Amid the ongoing nationwide staffing shortage, businesses are finding ways to manage, so are municipal services, including the Tyler Police Department. Tyler police say the hiring pool has significantly decreased over the last few years.

“The more people who apply, the more quality candidates we can get to be there when you need us.”

Tyler Police PIO Andy Erbaugh says they are seeing fewer applicants, going from almost 100 before Covid to their current crop of fewer than 50.

“On average have anywhere from only 40 to 50 people want to take a test, where we want it to be 100, but unfortunately that’s not the case.”

The other issue is the number of people who actually pass the civil service exam and physical test has also decreased, so they are looking at ways they can adjust their testing and expand their methods to increase recruitment.

One is their prior service credit program which allows an officer’s experience to transfer over. For example, if someone worked for another law enforcement agency for five years and decides to move to Tyler PD, those five years will count.

“They can come and get higher pay than if you were just to start all over from fresh. Don’t have to go to the police academy, and get on the street in a very short amount of time. That allows us to fill those spots very fast and allows that person to get out there and serve the city.” said Erbaugh.

Another effort is providing officers with all the equipment needed for the job, as well as improving retirement benefits.

“Most departments stop their step raises throughout your career after 20 years because that’s your retirement. Tyler PD gives you raises up to 25 years to keep that retention, to keep people from leaving right at 20.”

But Erbaugh says the best way to increase their staff ultimately comes from having a relationship with the community.

“Because when you have a good relationship with your community, your police department can grow and it can grow because your community supports it.”

To learn more and apply at the Tyler Police Department, click here. The last day to apply online is June 19. The next civil service test will be June 24.