Police departments in Minnesota offer new incentives to hire, keep officers

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Police departments across the country are struggling with a shortage of officers, and Minnesota is no exception. 

Over the last decade, many departments have had a tough time finding new officers.

"I think in the last 10 years especially we've seen a pretty significant drop off in the total number of applicants," Cottage Grove Police Capt. Randy McAlister said. 

Some police departments like Eden Prairie and Roseville have offered a hiring bonus to attract new officers. Cottage Grove offers wage hike incentives to keep officers.

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"It's one thing to have recruitment issues but it's another thing to retain the people you already spent a lot of money to train up," McAlister said. 

Recent controversial events and public perception of police have played a role in fewer officers. 

"Given what's happening recently, I think that's going to be a challenge for everybody," McAlister said. "I think it's going to be challenging to maintain people in this profession."