Council Partners with Law Enforcement on Recruitment Campaign to Address Critical Officer Shortage
On Thursday (March 30), the Bay Area Council hosted over 50 law enforcement personnel from 35 of region’s police and sheriff’s departments and other public safety agencies to discuss a potential regionwide office recruitment campaign.
Bay Area law enforcement agencies are plagued with police staffing shortages, which impacts response times, puts strain on existing officers, reduces morale, and stretches already tight budgets. The net effect of these implications can be severe – officer shortages have been correlated to increases in crime. With residents and employers citing crime as a major reason for deciding whether to come to the Bay Area or remain here, there is no higher priority than restoring confidence in law enforcement and ensuring departments have the resources and staff they need.
The difficult challenge at hand is how to develop strategies to substantially increase the overall pool of police recruits. Right now, departments are forced to compete with one another for limited resources and/or incentivize personnel to transfer from one department to another. However, moving around resources simply perpetuates the problem: it does not reduce the number of total officer vacancies in the Bay Area and therefore does not have a substantial impact on crime.
The Bay Area Council is uniquely equipped to respond to problems such as this that impact the entire region. With our unique ability to zoom out, scale solutions, and facilitate connections across the Bay Area, the Council launched an initiative to encourage more people to work in the public safety profession. In partnership with Epic Recruiting, local police departments, and other public safety agencies throughout the region, the Council plans to launch a regionwide sworn office recruitment campaign that will both encourage people to apply to the hundreds of vacant officer positions throughout the Bay Area, but also reset the narrative on what it means to be an officer and serve one’s community in that way.
To engage in the Council’s officer recruitment and perception campaign and other public safety initiatives, please contact Policy Director Laura Hill.