CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Employers across the country are struggling with staffing shortages. Law enforcement agencies are no different.

It’s why more than a dozen law enforcement agencies are holding a hiring event this Saturday.

“There’s not a grocery store or convenience store that you can go to and see a sign that says they’re wanting and needing help,” said Sergeant Travis Gresham with the Cary Police Department.

Gresham, a recruiter with Cary PD said the pandemic made recruiting difficult.

“It was a little impactful, it was reduced and now we’re trying to ramp those efforts back up to where they used to be,” he said.

Cary police are hosting a career event to attract new recruits along with these participating agencies:

  • Raleigh Police Department
  • NCSU Police Department
  • Wake Forest Police Department
  • Alcohol Law Enforcement
  • Fuquay Varina Police Department
  • State Highway Patrol
  • Apex Police Police Department
  • RDU Police

Cary will host them on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cary’s Herb Young Community Center at 101 Wilkinson Avenue.

“We figure why not bring everyone here together, who may be interested in staying in Wake County, working in Wake County,” said Corporal Armando Bake, a recruiter for Cary police.

Bake said 8 percent of the department’s positions are unfilled. That translates to 16 positions.

“For the Cary Police Department that is a lot and that’s why we are hosting this event to not only help us but other agencies too,” said Bake.

Cary hopes to fill 10 of those open spots with new recruits. Even with good candidates, they’ll need to be patient. Getting inexperienced recruits through the process of applying for the job all the way through active patrolling can take up to a year. For people with previous experience, the process can take about six months.

CBS 17 asked how the department can reassure the public that they are being adequately served even with the staffing shortage.

“We are meeting the staffing levels necessary to meet those goals,” said Bake.

“We never drop our performance standards simply because we don’t have our total officers filled,” said

What they’re ultimately looking for is someone with what Bake calls a ‘heart of service’.

“Someone who wants to serve the community, wants to help others,” Bake said.

The rest, they can teach and train.