Police Chiefs from around Minnesota are not happy with the situation of trying to staff their departments. From small towns to Twin Cities Suburbs staffing has become critical with some departments down 20-30%. When you live in a town like Wyoming Minnesota and you only have 10 officers total and one of those includes the chief, being down 2 street patrol officers can put quite a strain on the other officers and the department to serve the community as best they can.

The problem does not end with new recruits many seasoned officers are leaving the job as well and they are not of retirement age. One female officer from Jordan Minnesota which is a department of 10 and now down to eight said in her resignation letter that stated: “I knowingly and willfully took the risk that I may have to give my life to save another. However … the current anti-police climate is now demanding unreasonable risks to myself, and others.”

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Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken says fewer people are going to school to get into law enforcement. He went on to tell WCCO/CBS Minnesota: 

People are looking at the substantial angst and scrutiny that law enforcement is under and they’re stepping on the sidelines and they’re holding off, saying, I’m not sure I’m wanting to go into that profession. What happens when you don’t have enough candidates who have the certification to become viable, hirable candidates?

Tusken went on to say he currently has 8 positions open on top of the fact that he foresees about 40 retirements in the next three years. It is no wonder that departments are having a hard time getting new qualified recruits and established officers are leaving. Their are many good officers out there and I am friends with a few of them, I speak all the time about the Duluth Police Department and how impressed I am with all they do for the community. In the meantime hopefully the tide will begin to turn in a positive fashion.

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