CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department is targeting a specific kind of officer as it looks to fill dozens of vacancies over the coming months.
Police say they’re focused on quality versus quantity when it comes to hiring future officers, and they are looking for people who can bring fresh ideas to the department.
As of Tuesday, there are 45 vacancies for sworn officers in the department, which is budgeted to have 456 officers.
However, Sgt. Anthony Gibson, who supervises recruiting, says the number of open spots is constantly fluctuating and changes by the day.
Gibson says to fill those spots, they are looking for officers who can bring new approaches to policing, give a professional police service and make quick decisions under adverse circumstances.
As those spots get filled, the sergeant says the department is getting younger in terms of age, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
He adds that getting to zero vacancies is great in theory, but in reality, they are taking a different approach.
“You want that career flow, that retention for your department because your officers become more valuable each year that they’re here,” Gibson said, “so replacing them, a constant hiring, is not the way to answer any shortfalls in the department. It’s hiring correctly, retaining correctly and allowing everyone to flourish.”
Police say the vacancies have no impact on their ability to answer calls for service.
In a years’ time, the sergeant says the department could have anywhere between zero and 30 vacancies on the force.
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