Report shows law enforcement vacancies throughout the Lowcountry
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Working in law enforcement is already arguably a difficult job, especially when there are not enough people to fill the roles.
A survey released in April by the Police Executive Research Forum shows that police departments are recruiting more officers, but departments throughout America have seen 47% more resignations.
The Charleton County Sheriff’s Office currently has 47 deputy sheriff openings and 97 detention deputies’ openings, out of the around 900 people employed.
North Charleston has around 20 to 30 officer vacancies out of 340 sworn police officers.
“You find someone that wants to make dedication to their community, and to the profession as a whole, that’s getting more and more difficult to do,” North Charleston’s Police Chief Greg Gomes says.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has 10 current openings out of 187 full-time deputies. The Summerville Police Department has two school resource officer vacancies.
In Dorchester County, there are nine officer vacancies and 17 detention deputies.
The city of Georgetown has six law enforcement officer positions available.
“We got to stop bashing law enforcement,” South Carolina Senator Brian Adams says. “Until you’re in their shoes and understand what pressures they are going under at that split second when they are following their policies and procedures, we should be there supporting them.”
Gomes and Adams say that potentially allowing retired officers to work in departments again and more options to certify officers could help reduce the number of openings in the state.
“Does the state need to look at allowing retired police officers to come back into policing without the cap and without the separation of service,” Gomes says. “That is something I would be an advocate for because I think we are getting to a critical point.”
Both say the problem is not something that can be solved with one simple solution, but looking at the bigger picture can help each department with openings to keep your community safe.
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