IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFK/KIDK) - The factors in this nationwide shortage are plentiful, but a big one can be linked to the low unemployment rate.
"We've been experiencing a shortage of police applicants for the past several years. Its as common here in Idaho as it has been nationwide, I believe," said Capt. Steve Hunt, with the Idaho Falls Police Department.
There is a nationwide shortage of police officers that includes the Idaho Falls area.
"We are authorized for 90 sworn officers altogether. Right now, we have currently at least four openings we are trying to fill and we're trying to fill those with both lateral officers, which are officers who have experience with another agency. We're also trying to fill those vacancies with new applicants, who have no experience," said Hunt.
There are plenty of testing opportunities throughout the year.
"The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office has around 200 employees and another 30 or 40 volunteers at different times. We have more frequent turnover in a lot of our noncertified staff in our jail positions, but we do hire frequently in all of those areas. Currently ,we have a need for female deputy detention officers in our jail right now," said Sgt. Bryan Lovell, with the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office. "We also do annual testing that's coming up later in March for both male and female deputies for patrol and for jail."
"When the economy is really doing well, we don't get as many people applying for police jobs," said Hunt.
This year, the Idaho Falls Police Department is trying a new recruitment method.
"We'll be doing an online testing process for people who don't have previous experience. The online testing process, the reason behind it, is we're hoping to draw more applicants from places outside of Idaho Falls, as well as Idaho Falls residents," said Hunt.
For information about the job openings and needs for both the Sheriff's Office and Police Department, visit their websites and Facebook pages for listings.