RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Several of our local law enforcement agencies are dealing with a staffing shortage. Raleigh’s police department is holding a hiring event Saturday morning.
CBS 17 spoke with the associations that represent police officers in both departments. They said it’s concerning, that it’s leading to more officers leaving the department or the profession altogether.
“It just puts more and more stress on a department that already has low morale,” Rick Armstrong, Teamsters Local 391 Vice President said. Teamsters Local 391 represent some Raleigh police officers.
The staffing shortages at the Raleigh Police Department are taking a toll. Fewer officers mean fewer patrols, fewer detectives to investigate crimes, and potentially longer shifts.
“They need to pay more, they need to offer better benefits, and they need to listen to have the rank-and-file officer, police officer really wants,” Armstrong said.
RPD said they have 118 openings, they have just over 790 total officers. That’s about 15% of the total force.
As CBS 17 reported, Durham’s Police Department finds itself in a similar position. They have 79 openings with 556 total positions. That’s about 14 percent of their force.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has 49 vacancies with a total of 362 sworn officers. But more concerning, the number of applications coming in keeps going down. In 2019, the office said it was 133, in 2021 it’s 19.
“He’s at $43,000, $44,000 a year after eight, 10 years and they can go to the highway patrol and they’re $70,000 in six years,” Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said.
Sheriff Stone said four of his deputies are in the process of doing just that. It’s become a challenge to fill shifts for patrols and at the detention center.
“We have dedicated deputies,” he said during a County Commissioners meeting earlier this week.
Sheriff Stone went before the commissioners to ask for pay raises for his employees.
The Raleigh Police Department is holding a hiring event Saturday, June 12. Click here for more information.