CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston's Police chief says the increasing number of officers getting killed and increased scrutiny of officers is going to make the recruiting process more difficult.
Chief Greg Mullen says recruiting in his department is up over 25 percent from last year, but he's concerned about other communities around the country.
"There's so many things going on right now that impact the relationships between the community and police officers that everybody is on a heightened level of alert," Mullen said.
Mullen says many people are thinking twice about becoming a police officer when they see law enforcement so often portrayed in a negative light.
"We ask them to go in and do all kinds of things that most people in the community would never dream of doing or want to do," Mullen said.
Several of the larger law enforcement agencies in the Tri-County area have officer positions to fill. The Charleston Police Department has openings for 14 officers. The North Charleston Police Department has openings for 11 cops.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has eight openings, three which will be filled in June. Berkeley County has openings for eight deputies. The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office has just three openings for deputies.
Mullen says there is one group of people that is very difficult to recruit as police officers: minorities.
"They get into these situations where the community where they live in that they're familiar with is not always supporting them in their role as a police officer," he explained.
But the chief says even with all the problems facing police nowadays, there are still men and women who want to wear the badge and work.
"They get up every morning, they put on their uniforms and they go out there and do the best they can," Mullen said.
The goal is to recruit the best officers available, even if that means sending his current officers into the community, and posting openings at colleges, universities and even gyms, he said.