LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — About 80 percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide report having trouble finding qualified candidates, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police survey.
Here in Nevada, it’s no different. Many agencies have gotten creative with how they recruit and retain officers.
North Las Vegas Police are currently training their next set of officers. Recruits like Steicy Castillo are just getting started with the academy.
“Everything has been really hard. There is really no sugarcoating it. It’s been really hard emotionally, academically, and physically. In the end, I know it is going to be worth it,” Castillo said.
The recruits at the academy are currently in their fourth week of training with 20 more to go before they take to the streets of North Las Vegas. The training prepares these recruits for what they are going to face in the field.
Lt. John Cargile said, unlike other agencies, they are facing the recruitment challenge head-on.
“We’re actually doing very well. Since we’ve announced our bonuses, our recruitment has been up significantly,” Cargile said.
Lt. Cargile said they are up by four to five times the number of officers coming to their department from other agencies. They are looking to fill 42 sworn officer positions.
“We’re offering a $40,000 recruitment bonus for all the lateral that come to our department with two or more years of experience. We’re also offering a $10,000 recruitment bonus for our entry-level officers that are coming into this department.”
Lt. Cargile said they are trying to not take away officers from other departments in the area and instead are working to recruit from other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Metro is looking to hire 300 officers, and Nevada State Police is short 123 officers.
When Castillo graduates, she will join the 15 percent of females that are in the field.
North Las Vegas police are still accepting applications through April 21st for their academy starting later this summer. They say they will continue offering bonuses as long as they can.