Police in Minnesota face 'crisis' in recruiting

December 12, 2018 09:31 PM

Police departments in Minnesota have seen a sharp decline in the number of applicants for police officer positions over the past few years.

Now they're taking steps to remedy the situation.


"Quite frankly, we are at a point of crisis," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said. "In terms of public safety and men and women joining this very honorable and noble profession."

Arradondo and nearly 100 other law enforcement officials met in Bloomington Wednesday to discuss ways to recruit and retain police officers.

For starters, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association produced a video campaign called "Wear the Badge." Each video includes profiles of police officers in small towns and large cities.

"We have two aspects to the campaign," Hutchinson Police Chief Dan Hatten said. "Trying to get people to come in and apply for that position and then retain them."

RELATED: Minnesota police chiefs launching effort to recruit, retain more officers

The number of people taking the peace officer licensing exam has dropped 25 percent since 2015. Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said the "Wear the Badge" campaign is aimed at reminding young people about how rewarding a career in law enforcement can be.

"A lot of kids grow up saying I want to be a police officer," Potts said. "They play police officers when they're little kids and sometimes I think we just have to tap into those ideas they had when they were small children and say 'Hey, this is a really good career.'"

The police recruiting videos will be distributed through social media and community partners across the state.

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Tom Hauser

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