What Happens When Police Departments Are In Hiring Crunch

Sorry am bad at posting links. Saw this story a few days ago on my news feed.

Google either “drug dealing Massachusetts State Police Officer”, or “Genduso, Leah Massachusetts State Police”, & about half a dozen hits should pop up.

According to one of the more comprehensive about her dishonorable discharge, the “Boston Globe”, Ms. Genduso hid her past selling marijuana—during a time period it was illegal in the Commonwealth—as well as her immunity during courtroom testimony. Also missed was her living in a house owned by dealer Sean Bucci.

Per the Globe’s article about her termination, the State Police were “in a hiring crunch” at the time she went from civilian dispatcher to K9 Officer. Also mentioned is her involvement with then Major Daniel Risteen, with whom she was cohabiting at the time.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a definition of sexual harassment a job as a result of sexual relationship? And isn’t priority given to those already Troopers or military veterans for K9?

There are police officers early retiring, or just plain old resigning in favor of civilian jobs. If standards are cut to fill vacancies, officers like this woman filling vacancies will be more commonplace. And Leah Genduso, former marijuana dealer, is pretty tame compared to former NOPD Officer Antoinette Frank—now on Louisiana Death Row for two first degree murders & suspected in the death of ger father. She was also hired during a shortage of police officers.

There already is a nationwide hiring crunch. Most Police Departments are now relying on scalping from other Police Departments to fill vacancies.

Unless you’re a big city cop there’s not enough money for the headache.

Every dept is in a hiring crunch. Right now there is a perfect storm of confluences causing the problem. First and foremost is the anti cop media and hysteria going on that is harming recruiting efforts (few want to be cops) and causing many cops to get out. In the 90’s the department in my town of about 100,000 could expect 400-500 applicants for three open positions. This year they had 47 applicants for 14 open positions. And when you can count on 80% of applicants washing out somewhere along the way thats obviously not enough.

Second is the pay and attack on pensions / benefits. Nationwide your seeing states or agencies renege on pension guarantees to both current and future retirees which gives no incentive for current or new cops to stick around. Especially when many of these agencies are only giving a starting salary of $15 / hr which you can get in many places with lots less stress.

Third is the predictable effect of the hiring splurge of the 90’s. A booming economy, sky high crime rate, and Bill Clinton and Congress signing off on grants for agencies to hire more officers led to a huge hiring surge across the nation in the 90’s. Now these officers are all hitting retirement age around the same time.

Your also seeing many departments lessening standards greatly to attract officers. Some of the standards were probably outdated but some are more worrisome.

For instance, the department in my town used to not allow any visible tattoos which eliminated a lot of applicants. Now you can have visible tats so long as they aren’t on the face, neck, or hands and aren’t offensive. Though whats offensive is often ludicrous. There was a story back east of how someone was horrified over seeing a corrections officer with a tattoo that had the number 88 in it because 88 means Heil Hitler in nazi circles. However is was also his college jersey number on the football team and the rest of that tat was the school mascot and even had the name of his school in it.

Others are more worrisome in that it used to be an instant disqualification if you have ever used felony drugs in your life or if you’ve used marijuana within five years. Now its felony drugs in five years and marijuana within one year. The marijuana part doesn’t worry me so much as I view it like alcohol only stinky, its the felony drugs that worry me.