PUEBLO — The Pueblo Police Department says many factors are playing a role in the lack of desire for people to pursue a career in law enforcement - Safety concerns amid a pandemic, police brutality protests nationwide, and the inherent nature of the job.
When it comes to enrollment in the PPD's Police Academy, "It's been down" said Sgt. Frank Ortega.
"The job’s always been hard, and in addition to that… We have COVID concerns, and then on top of that,the protests and things like that. We obviously had a lot less interest in the position"
The lack of enthusiasm to work in law enforcement seems to be a common trend across Colorado.
*looks around at news coverage over the last year*— Kara Mason (@karanormal) March 12, 2021
But in all seriousness: This will probably be news we see of a lot of departments. The number of officers leaving the force here in Aurora is "just unprecedented." https://t.co/p4yThpj8pH https://t.co/ziD3nsolQx
According to another report, the Aurora Police Department saw a 60% increase in officers who left their department in 2020.
In order to combat the confusion around police work, PPD is hosting an open house on Tuesday, March 23rd. Anyone can drop into the police department from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm,m to ask questions about the hiring process, their department, and advice on interviews or training.
"We understand that the process applying to be a police officer, or any job to be honest with you, is hard, so we're trying to simplify the process."
Ortega says the PPD has found that the best police officers are the ones who were raised in the Pueblo community.
"What we want is... people that are from Pueblo, local people, lived here, know the community... to become police officers here, because in our experience those are what make the best police officers... the people that come from the community."
In order to apply to the Pueblo Police Department's Police Academy you must be 21 or older and a high school graduate.