Las Vegas police see rise in recruits after years of slumps, officer shortages

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 4:43 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says they finally have seen a rise in recruits and interest to become a police officer, after years of slumps in interest.

A September class for the police academy boasted more than 70 students, a banner number for Metro Police.

Sergeant of Recruiting John Deschutter tells FOX5, the rise in numbers can be attributed to several factors: aggressive recruiting strategies have helped with outreach to military members. LVMPD also brought back the return of the Cadet Program, helping 18-year-olds get a job with the police right outside high school; cadets can be eligible for the police academy once they turn 21.

“We’re seeing there’s a lot of motivated people that want to join the police force at 18. By the time you go to the academy at 21, you’re ready-made for the job. And we’re not losing people at 18 to 21 to various other careers. We’re keeping them local and keeping them in-house with us,” DeSchutter said.

Metro police had seen the same slump as law enforcement agencies nationwide over the past few years, with civil unrest, discourse over high-profile police brutality cases such as George Floyd’s death, and a rise in violence against law enforcement with increasingly armed suspects.

Community relations such as Coffee with a Cop and Santa Cops have been crucial to providing community outreach and boosting community relations, he said.

“Without the community support, we wouldn’t be where we are in the recruiting numbers that we’re at,” DeSchutter said.

For more information about becoming a police officer, click here.