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Iowa City Police Department urgently looking for more officers

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A combination of people retiring or choosing to leave the profession altogether have left the Iowa City Police Department short-staffed.

“We have people working overtime shifts, it just starts to drain on the staff we have,” Cpt. Denise Brotherton said.

The department wants around 10 more officers as soon as possible. They’re currently down eight officers, but Brotherton said those numbers can fluctuate at any time.

“We’ve been behind the game on keeping our staffing up when we’ve lost officers to retirement or other issues,” Brotherton said.

The reasons why some officers have chosen to walk away from the career completely can vary. Brotherton said she has to wonder if last summer’s protests contributed in some cases.

“Most are in this for bigger reasons and we encourage people to drown out the noise, do the job for the reasons you got into it,” Brotherton said.

“You know it is hard on morale, but we do know we have support in our community,” Brotherton added.

The department released recruiting videos this week to try and draw in as many applicants as possible. The hiring process, in general, has been backed up due to the pandemic because aspiring officers have to take in-person written and physical tests.

Now, the department is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus to Iowa Law Enforcement Academy certified officers. Officers certified through the academy will also be able to start training with the department right away thanks to a procedure change made last week by the Civil Service Commission to help speed up the hiring process in Iowa City.

“It’s decreased each year the number of people that apply for these jobs and so, it’s a competition,” Brotherton said.

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