WESTBROOK, Maine — If you’ve been on social media lately, you might have come across a job posting by your local police department. A police officer shortage is hitting departments hard across the state.
Now, some departments are offering big bonuses to the right candidates.
This past spring, the Portland Police Department opened their search to non-citizens, and started visiting colleges to recruit. They also offer a $10,000 signing bonus.
The department is hosting a “Becoming a Portland Police Officer” info session next month.
The U.S. Justice Department says that since 2013, the number of officers in the nation has fallen by about 23,000.
South Portland is a part of that shortage, and also on the hunt for their next officer.
In Westbrook, a $14,000 sign-on bonus is offered for academy graduates with five years of experience.
Chief Janine Roberts says they are exploring all ways to recruit the best candidates.
“The culture and the media coverage on law enforcement and social media not just the professional media, but there is a perception out there by many that law enforcement is not a well-received profession to be going into. That does impact candidates,” Roberts said.
“Police work is a calling.”
Watch: New Portland police officers take the oath of office