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Northeast Ohio police departments struggling to fill open positions

Akron police investigating officer-involved shooting
Posted at 5:23 PM, May 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-23 18:59:40-04

CLEVELAND — As of late, it seems like just about every employer out there is looking for new workers. State leaders continue to look for new ways to attract talent to the industries seeing some of the largest worker shortages.

The Ohio Means Jobs website proudly touts 180,000 open jobs, including 94,000 which pay more than $50,000/year.

Among those jobs in demand, look no further than your local police department.

In East Cleveland, Police Chief Scott Gardner said, “We are having major issues [when it comes to hiring], especially apart from other departments as our pay is much lower than most.”

In Cleveland Heights, Chief Annette Mecklenburg reiterated the issue when it comes to the “difficulty recruiting applicants for the position of police officer.”

According to Cleveland Police recruiter Detective Felton Collier, it’s not quite the same issue for with Cleveland Police.

“It’s not the 4,000-5,000 when I took the test, it’s not those numbers, but we do pretty well in Cleveland.” he said. “Normally, we take in somewhere from 800-1,000 applications.”

Over the course of this weekend and next, the department will host five recruiting events across the city for its patrol officer positions.

“We tell everybody, if you’re interested to apply,” Collier said. “Let us be the ones to tell you that you don't qualify. A lot of times people disqualify themselves for stuff that's really not a disqualifier.”

To learn more about how to apply to be a patrol officer with Cleveland Police, click here.