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KDPS hoping to address local law enforcement shortage through recruitment event

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
Posted at 7:49 AM, Nov 16, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Employers across the country are dealing with staffing shortages, and police agencies are no exception.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) is holding a major recruitment event in hopes they can fill spots, despite the nationwide shortage in law enforcement.

KDPS Assistant Chief of Recruiting and Hiring Victor Green said there are around 28 spots to fill. The department's goal is to have a total of 268 employees.

The good news? You don't need a criminal justice background to apply.

"We just want a person that is willing to serve their community and has the heart for it. We will train you to be an excellent public safety officer," said KDPS Assistant Chief of Recruiting and Hiring Victor Green.
The shortage that's being seen nationwide is also being seen at local departments.

"26 years ago when I put an application in, there were few spots to fill. Now, it is the complete opposite," said Assistant Chief Green.

KDPS said their largest class was hired over two decades ago, and many of them will be retiring in 2023. That's why this recruitment event is so important.

While all recruits start as public safety officers, there is a lot of room for advancements and even lateral movements.

"We have a detective bureau, we have a canine unit, we have a SWAT team, we have our community policing unit, we have all these different units that provide. We have fire inspection. That's not included in if you have the option and you're interested in promoting higher to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, maybe even one day to the chief spot or assistant chief’s spot," said Assistant Chief Green.

KDPS even offers all the training at no-cost to the recruits.

"You’re an employee, you're getting benefits, you're getting a check. We're paying for all of your costs to go to become a certified police officer, then once you make it to the police academy, you're sworn in as a public safety officer. The work also begins as you start going to the fire academy," said Assistant Chief Green.

If you're entering the academy with no experience, pay starts around $46,000. Once you graduate, you'll make low to mid-$50,000's.

On top of benefits and paid time-off, in a 28-day work cycle, law enforcement get seven straight days off.

KDPS is also one of the few departments left in the country to provide a pension to its employees after 25 years of service.

As for requirements, there is a couple of tests including a written and physical agility test, as well as a background check.

"We walk you through the whole process from testing to the physical part to the background to once you're into the academy and complete the academy," said Assistant Chief Green.

The recruiting event goes until November 28, 2021. Click here for more information or if you're interested in apply.