Maine is struggling to fulfill open positions for Law Enforcement

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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Maine (WAGM) - The State of Maine is struggling to fulfill open positions for law enforcement in every department. It has caused some police departments to try new recruiting tactics. News Source 8 Adriana Sanchez spoke with some law officials regarding this matter in the county.

For the first time ever, The Presque Isle Police department are having sign on bonus up to $5000 to qualified applicants to attract officers. This has been put in place because the competition is at a high demand. Chief Laurie Kelly says the era were living in has been a factor on why people are not interested in entering their work force.

“Honestly it’s the culture in the country and a lot of people are anti law enforcement I think it’s that I don’t know if it’s a field people are interested in like the way they used to be interested in,” said Chief Laurie Kelly of Presque Isle Police Department.

Lieutenant Brain Harris says this is an issue statewide.

“Luckily in Aroostook County it’s still a supporting county for law enforcement as a general rule but overall as a state agency were hiring for the entire state. We do see in pockets of the state where you get the current climate on the media seeing law enforcement bash all the time, a lot of negative press on law enforcement that is going to have a trickle down effect to the people applying to us,” said Lieutenant of Maine State Police, Brian Harris.

With this shortage it prompts other departments to have to respond to calls out of their coverage areas.

“That’s why you may see at a scene game warden’s, troopers, deputies, local PD’s, all at one place and were all working together to resolve that situation,” said Lt. Harris.

This has also caused officers to respond to calls slower, or even resulted in them calling to try to resolve the situation over the phone.

“One big thing we see obviously with the lack of officers is the traffic complaints, those are always there and seem to go up… Just understand that if you call me today about a traffic problem on Maine street in whatever city I might not get someone there today but it may be another day this week I’ll get somebody there,” said Lt. Harris.

Lt. Harris says there are around 20-22 open positions across all departments in the county.

Adriana Sanchez NewsSource 8.

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