Charlotte, NC - Understaffed and overwhelmed, CMPD is ramping up recruitment. The department is looking to hire at least 150 additional officers.
The department's recruiting supervisor, Lt. Jackie Bryley, said they're looking for people with a desire to serve and a love for community, which means they'll be spending a lot of time over the next few months at military bases, as well as local colleges and universities.
During any given recruitment period, the department receives upwards of 500 applications, but Bryley said only 50-55 of them actually make the cut. This is mostly due to the results of extensive background checks. However, another challenge the department faces in their search for qualified individuals is the ability to supersede the competition.
"Sometimes, especially young people coming out of college, maybe they're looking to get into a federal position, which sometimes the pay is more,” said Bryley. “So we have to be able to compete with those jobs. We also have to compete with cities that have similar size and population that Charlotte has."
Bryley encouraged people teetering on the idea of becoming a police officer to take part in the department's ride-along program. By doing so she said they’ll get a better idea of the impact each police officer has on the community, which has inspired most to become a part of the solution, especially during a time when violence against police officers is at an all-time high.
Around 27 recruits will graduate from CMPD’s Training Academy Friday, and there is a current class of 49 expected to graduate in March. Bryley said another class of approximately 50 recruits will start in January and graduate in June, which means CMPD will have hired at least 126 additional officers by this time next year.