With agencies hiring, police academy struggles to keep up

Local News

SANDY, Utah (News4Utah) – As many people are leaving law enforcement, some departments are now on a recruiting spree — which is straining the state agency tasked with training would-be officers.

“I have never seen anything this high in my entire career,” said Major Scott Stephenson with POST, or Peace Officer Standards and Training.

The waiting list for the POST academy is 73 people long.

“Toward the end of last year, we started seeing a spike in demand,” said Stephenson.

Many experienced officers are leaving law enforcement, he said, and those who are getting into the profession seem to be leaving sooner.

“We’re getting more positions. Therefore, we have to increase recruiting, and so we have a perfect storm,” said Stephenson.

So classes have more recruits. Would-be recruits are having to wait. And that, Stephenson said, takes a toll — especially for smaller departments that can’t get would-be recruits trained.

“I’ve never seen numbers like this,” said Stephenson.

An additional class is planned for this summer to keep up with the historic demand.

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