CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Law enforcement and emergency crews nationwide have seen a steep decline in people interested in applying.
In Kanawha County, the Sheriff’s Department has requested help to recruit more members to their team. They plan to do this with sign-on bonuses funded by the County Commission.
The Kanawha County Commission will meet Thursday to discuss creating an incentive program for those applying to be a Kanawha County Sheriff Deputy.
“The problem is recruiting. We are finding it all across the United States of America and the state of West Virginia. So the Sheriff’s Department is going to add an incentive…a bonus,” said Kent Carper, the Kanawha County Commissions President.
That incentive would consist of a $5,000 sign-on bonus. Only certified officers signing a two-year contract would be eligible.
This already has great support from local leaders.
“I think it is necessary, we want the best and brightest. We have the finest Sheriffs Department in the state and we want to keep it that way,” said Carper.
But some local Police Departments already have similar incentive programs in place. The Dunbar Police Department offers $5,000 sign-on bonuses to fill necessary positions.
“It’s getting harder to find candidates who meet the standards and there are not as many people interested in the profession as there used to be,” said Captian Matt Arthur, Dunbar Police Department.
In order to save money in the long run…
“With a certified officer applying, if they are hired it will save the city some money in training and things like that. And we can get them on the road sooner,” said Arthur.
The Kanawha County Commission hopes more people begin to apply for positions in law enforcement in order to serve their community.