In a blink of an eye, the Dickinson Police Department went from being fully staffed this past Christmas to currently being five officers short, and the department feels that number may grow into the Summer.
“Local elections. . . drawing some of our officers for higher paid agencies. We experienced quite a few openings in a short amount of time,” said Lt. Mike Hanel, Dickinson Police Department.
The lieutenant said when he started 15 years ago, the department would get about 30 applications when a position opened up.
Nowadays, they get about 10.
“It has been definitely a challenge to go out there and compete against other agencies and attract the absolute best talent that we can,” said Hanel.
Chief Dustin Dassinger said a lot of things are probably playing into people’s lack of interest in working in law enforcement, but he thinks one factor is this generation’s work ethic and expectations.
“Shift work, hours, working holidays, a lot of times that is not desirable to our generation”.
Even with the short stack of applicants, Dassinger said the department will not lower its standards.
The chief also said being a police officer today is no longer about being a tough guy.
Officers today must be well-educated and have good people skills
“The ability to talk to people. . . we are still providing a service. We are providing a service to protect and serve our community,” said Dassinger.
The department is currently branching out and attending jobs fairs out – of – state in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana to find the best possible officers for the City of Dickinson.
“We have a great community. . . We have our community center, fantastic educational system, fantastic health care system,” said Hanel.
If everything goes well in the next few months the people of Dickinson will see some new faces patrolling the streets in the future.
Hanel said all applicants have to go through and pass a written test, two interviews, a background check, and a polygraph test before being hired.