VIRGINIA, USA — Like many industries, local police departments are facing staffing issues. Prince William County Police Chief, Pete Newsham says they could use 100 more officers to be fully staffed and Fairfax County has called a staffing emergency.
"Across the Commonwealth, we're all suffering from a lack of interest in becoming a police officer. Applications are down significantly," said Newsham.
In a statement to WUSA9, the Fairfax County Police Department says they’re moving to a temporary staffing model while they try to hire more officers. They’re placing emphasis on “lateral officer transfers,” and increasing the number of women on the force by 30% in the coming year.
Arlington County Police Department currently has 53 sworn vacancies in its department. In hopes of filling those spots sooner than later with qualified people, the department has launched an ambassador program geared towards recruiting people straight from college and they’re Virginia Values Veterans or V3 certified employers.
Additionally, the Arlington County Police Department is also offering a $3,000 signing bonus to new hires.
In Loudoun County, there are 34 vacancies out of their 396 authorized sworn positions.
In Maryland, the Montgomery County Police Department says they too need officers on hand. Captain David Smith says they are down 108 sworn positions.
"Similar to many other agencies across the region, the Montgomery County Police Department continues to experience challenges in the area of staffing. We are fortunate that our agency has not been as significantly affected as some others, however retirement and resignations have had a noticeable impact on our agency," Smith said in a press statement.
Prince George's County, a spokesperson said the police department currently has 1,462 officers, which includes student officers in the academy. The department is authorized for 1,786 officers.