Minot Police Chief Jason Olson presented the 2018 report for the department at Monday’s City Council meeting. Crime rate, calls for service and staffing issues were discussed.
The biggest issues currently facing the department are finding and keeping good officers.KX News has been following this issue for more than a year. Tonight, we look at how the department is moving forward.
“We just aren’t getting applicants. Realistically, we’re hiring every qualified applicant that makes it through our process. It’s not like we have 10 to choose from, or 20 to choose from, or back when I started 120 to choose from. Those days are gone,” said Jason Olson, Minot Police Chief.
There are currently 83 sworn officers working for the Minot Police Department. The department is missing 12 officers to training, light-duty or open positions…and it’s making their job more difficult.
“12 down out of the 83 sworn, it’s put a little bit of bind on what we can accomplish,” said John Klug, patrol commander.
Something else that isn’t helping is the turnover rate. Minot P.D. is losing an average of 9 officers per year. 32-percent left to go on to other law enforcement employment opportunities. While about 11-percent of officers decided within the first year that law enforcement wasn’t for them.
And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
“You’re never going to get everybody who is a perfect fit. And I think the earlier on in the process people figure out this is not for them, the better off we are, the better off they are,” said Stephan Podrygula Minot Alderman.
To help reduce the turnover rate, the department and city started offering incentives. Like, changing benefits, adding holiday and vacation days and letting people choose their schedule.
“I think we have made progress. I think that it’s been a good move. The biggest step now is getting people to show up to be interviewed and make those steps,” Klug added.
The department is working on finding the best way to recruit new people to join the department, it’s something they say remains their toughest case to solve.