Local police recruitment and retention amid nationwide unrest

LCPD Police Retentions

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Law enforcement and their roles in the communities they serve has been a big topic. This, following the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.

As the country stands divided on the role police officers should have within the communities they serve, the Lake Charles Police Department does not anticipate a shortage of new recruits.

“As far as dealing with the public and whats going on with recruiting and our current situation, the numbers themselves have not changed as far as interest in the police department,” said Sgt. Larry Moss.

Sgt. Moss said he believes the volume of training a police officer gets is misunderstood sometimes by the general public. He says when employees begin their work with LCPD, they initially have 320 hours of training before going to the Police Academy. Police Academy consists of 509 hours worth of training before going out to work with another officer in the Field Training Program.

“Recruiting is always a challenge in law enforcement...with the current situations, it’s definitely given a different aspect for us to look at. At the same time, we’ve had 11 new rookies, it’s an interesting time for them to start in the midst of a pandemic and everything going on in the country right now,” Moss said.

With training and police practices in question across the nation, Sgt. Moss said he can only speak for the training process they administer in Lake Charles. It’s a process that Officer Mildred Joseph says was lengthy but made her feel confident in her skills.

“I felt more confident honestly, we got 7 months before we went to the academy..and 5 months of that... so pretty much a year. I was very confident on my first day as a solo officer,” Ofc. Joseph said.

With recent protests across the country, some even taking a violent turn, Sgt Moss says one step towards healing the relationships between officers and the community is through open dialogue.

”All of them (police officers) want to help people and that’s why we all start this job and that’s still the same sentiment with the brand new people that started in the middle of everything that’s going on right now.”

In regards to recruiting, Moss says he believes the role of an officer is still honorable. He says the new generation is what policing needs right now.

Lake Charles Police will be holding their next recruiting event on August 29.

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