CLEVELAND — Next month, Phoenix police will travel to Ohio making two stops in an effort to attract officers to make the move to Arizona.
It comes as a labor shortage continues nationwide for police officers.
“I guess I can speak for a lot of departments,” Phoenix police recruiting officer English Quals said. “It’s been hard for us. We get calls here and there but I think people just don’t want the same desire to do law enforcement like they did in the past.”
“Not a lot of people want this job anymore,” said Gary Wolske, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.
Years of hiring struggles forced the Phoenix Police Department to get creative. As part of their visit, they will offer incentives to move to the southwest, including a $7,500 bonus.
“We have the budget to offer these hiring bonuses to applicants along with our good weather everyone knows,” Quals said. “Our cost of living is still great, it’s a booming city.”
So why Cleveland? Why Ohio?
“A lot of people ask us, they don’t realize we have a lot of Ohio residents part of the department here,” Quals said. “I know in my bureau myself, we have at least five or six.”
This cross-country trip comes as no surprise to those here in Ohio.
“We’re seeing it more and more in the state of Ohio since Ohio has a high standard of training and education,” Portage County Deputy Chief Ralph Spidalieri. “We just have the quality of officers sought by a lot of other states.”
A quality of officer that Wolske would like to see stay in Ohio.
“There are departments that spend a lot of money on their education as a police officer through the police officers' academy, through their time with training officers in their department,” he explained. “Just their knowledge of their communities that they have gained. It would be a huge financial burden to lose good seasoned veteran officers.”
The event, which includes a written test, is set for Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Marriott Key Tower beginning at 9 a.m. Another event is set for Sunday, Nov. 7 in Columbus at the Hilton Columbus Polaris at 8700 Lyra Drive. To register for either event, click here.