PHOENIX - After years of being under a hiring freeze due to the recession, many law enforcement agencies, like the Phoenix Police Department, are now able to fill hundreds of positions, but filling those jobs is proving to be difficult.
In a joint news conference at Northern Arizona University's Phoenix campus, leaders from the Department of Public Safety, Phoenix Police and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spoke on the desperate need to fill hundreds of open jobs. The agencies stated that it's extremely rare they have this many vacancies at the same time.
"No, it's not typical to have numbers like this, but to council's credit and city management's credit in Phoenix, people are realizng the need to hire," said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.
The Phoenix Police Department is looking to add close to 400 additional officers. Williams says recent negative public perception of law enforcement and the overall difficult demands of the job are some of the hurdles they're facing.
"We're challenging the public, we're literally challenging the public to send us people, send us bodies, send us people who want to serve and want to be heroes in their community," she said.
DPS Director Frank Milstead says they too are ready to hire about 185 troopers.
"I think it's incredibly important for people to know we're hiring and all the agencies are hiring, you can see the economy is begining to turn and the cities and states have the funding and you can see the population growth and we have to meet that population growth," he said.
MCSO says they have about 375 vacancies to fill.
Many of these agencies are working with schools and universities like NAU to help recruit. In fact, NAU will be holding a big law enforcement job fair on October 21. Phoenix Police will hold a job fair on October 20.
Phoenix Police Career Fair
October 20, 8am - 12pm
Phoenix Convention Center
33 S. 3rd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Call 602-262-6925 for more information
Criminal Justice and Intelligence Career Fair
October 21, 10am - 12pm
Northern Arizona University
North Valley Campus
15451 N. 28th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85053