CHATHAM CO., Ga. (WTOC) - Without face-to-face recruitment events, many law enforcement agencies are still having to re-think how they reach the masses to attract the best possible candidates to protect and serve.
Many are adapting by moving toward online and social media recruiting campaigns.
The Savannah Police Department recently welcomed its largest class of new officers to go through police training since the pandemic began. Nineteen officers joined the ranks of Savannah Police last week during the first pinning ceremony of 2021 for the department.
Last year, the department welcomed three groups of new officers. Leaders with multiple departments tell us the challenges of not being able to meet candidates in-person because of canceled recruiting events and having to shift to a more social media-based recruitment strategy has been challenging.
“Well, of course, it’s had an impact on our recruitment efforts. We’re not able to go out and have as much face-to-face time with individuals. So, we’ve had to adapt and adopt new recruitment practices. But it’s the same thing other agencies across the country are having to do,” said Chief Roy Minter, Savannah Police Department.
Currently in Chatham County, there are several position vacancies. The Sheriff’s Office has 20 correction officer openings and 45 to 50 certified officer openings. The Chatham County Police Department has four open spots, and the Savannah Police Department has 43 open positions as of a month ago.
The Sheriff’s Office says they’re hopeful and planning to attend in-person recruiting events by late April or early May.