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LMPD short 241 officers; chief hoping to add diversity to department

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 12:06 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2021 at 12:09 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There are 241 vacant police positions at the Louisville Metro Police Department, but Chief Erika Shields said many cities across the country are suffering from an officer shortage.

“Every agency across the United States — large agency that I know of — is having a horrible time recruiting and hiring,” Shields said during LMPD’s latest ‘On The Record’ podcast.

On Thursday, LMPD Officer Andre Shaw with the department’s Recruitment and Selection Unit explained the department’s hiring process. He said there are currently two groups of recruits going through the academy right now.

“We have 15 in one and 16 in the other,” Shaw said.

LMPD is hoping to bring in more diverse applicants. Shields said there need to be more Black officers. At the moment, only 140 of the sworn members are Black.

“I think the minority office should dictate what the city is,” Shaw added. “If the City of Louisville is 24% African American or Black, then the department should equal that.”

As for the type of person they’re hoping to recruit, Shields said she just wants honest, hardworking people to do the job.

“Is their heart good?” Shields asked. “Is their soul good and are they prepared to work hard? We can teach them how to police.”

Watch the full Recruitment and Selection podcast episode below.

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