Staffing Shortages Create Strain for Law Enforcement Agencies Across the Nation


Tally Meer / The Bird Feed

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office places an advertisement that they are hiring in downtown Cumming, GA. This advertisement is here to bring awareness to the public, and hopefully attract potential recruits.

Tally Meer, Staff Writer

Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States are facing major staffing shortages. The staffing shortage is largely affecting major cities including Atlanta, Kansas City, Chicago and Seattle.

Between 2020 and 2022, the city of Seattle recorded their lowest police population in 30 years

While not a major city, this phenomenon can also be seen locally in Forsyth County. As the number of employees in the industry begins to decrease, the ones who are already working are having to work extra in order to cover the empty shifts.

“The loss of officers has caused my division to shrink, requiring me to be the sole trainer for the department,” explains Lieutenant Brian Hickey, of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department. “This has increased hours at work and time away from my family.”

The root of this issue remains up for debate. The main factor of the shortage of employees is the retirement and quitting of police officers.

“I have been training a lot of new officers in the field of law-enforcement recently in an effort to fill some of those voids,” Hickey said. “It is extremely difficult to find qualified personnel to take the role as a police officer in the current environment.”

The risk and sacrifices police officers have to take may be a notable concern for potential recruits. It’s possible people are becoming less interested in the industry due to the harsh intensity of the labor required in the job. 

Another issue that Forsyth County is facing is that many people believe that the salary is too low for police officers. However, Forsyth County is willing to increase salaries in order to gain employees. In fact, Forsyth County is offering one of the highest salaries for police officers in the state of Georgia. 

As for Forsyth County, there are many signs and billboards advertising that law enforcement agencies are hiring. Because of the advertisements being displayed, Forsyth County has seen around 35 applicants in their applicant pool in just one week.

This really helped not only the police officers, but also the sheriff’s deputies, and the other departments of the law enforcement, who all work together to protect others. 

The Forsyth County Law Enforcement values the safety of the Forsyth County citizens. They believe that Forsyth County is one of the safest areas to live in Georgia, and the law enforcement makes that possible.