Finding people to fill the voids of police departments have become a challenge across the State of Illinois and the Country.
In DeWitt County, Sheriff Mike Walker is currently looking for a corrections officer in their jail, and filling that position is becoming a challenge. This isn't just a DeWitt County issue either and believes scrutiny of police is one of the many reasons law enforcement agencies are having a hard time finding people to fill their openings.
Competing for officers with neighboring agencies is a big part of the issue as well. According to Sheriff Walker, bigger agencies are hiring with starting salaries much greater than places like DeWitt County and many potential hirees see that starting salary and want the bigger dollar figures.
While many may suggest raising starting wages for officers locally, on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, the Sheriff says budgets for agencies like DeWitt County are much smaller because of the smaller tax-base to draw from.
Wednesday, the Sheriff also discussed the important role police play in responding to volatile situations and the issues with seeking someone else to deal with some of those scenarios. He also believes his department's budget is already bare-bones enough that any idea of cuts is unlikely.
We'll have more with Sheriff Walker next week on Regional Radio News.