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Charleston Police Department currently down 16 officers

Charleston Police said right now they are down 16 officers.
Charleston Police said right now they are down 16 officers.(WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 11:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - You may see officers out and about running calls on an average basis, but what you don’t see is the work behind the scenes to make sure that work continues.

“We used to start with such a large pool of people but now it’s becoming harder and harder for people to show up for the (police officer) test,” said Lt. Autumn Davis, Recruiting and Retention Officer for Charleston Police Department.

Davis said currently, the department is needing to fill about 16 spots on their force. And in the upcoming months they will have a few officers retiring, which will make that number of spots go up.

“We have not been at full capacity for a while,” Davis told WSAZ. “With everything going on nationwide and the COVID, it’s definitely impacted our ability to recruit for police officers.”

She believes the shortage is nationwide and said a strained relationship between police and the community in some places across the country could be at least one reason why getting people to join the ranks can be hard.

She also said COVID-19 has not been helpful.

“It’s kind of changed the face of how we recruit,” she said. “COVID really shut down that personal interaction, job and career fairs and just the one-on-one interaction with people to talk to them about the police department.”

She said the police department is holding two hiring events coming up on Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. Both events will be physical ability and written tests in the same day.

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