ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – You hear it all the time, the Saint Louis Police Department is in need of more police. Right now, they are down by at least one hundred.
Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Leyshock says this goes deeper than finding the money to hire more police.
“Our application pool is down, and I think that’s across the country. If they throw out a number that we’re seventy short, seventy under the manning table, that doesn’t account officers that are injured, or female officers that may be pregnant,” he says.
The Saint Louis Police Department in particular is seeing a high attrition rate.
“I signed resignation papers last week of good, young police officers, not necessarily going out of police work, but one was going to California, to a department that pays way more than we do, and two others going in to different professions,” he says. “I talked to them a little bit to try to get ‘what’s your mindset, I hate to see you leave,’ and luckily I knew all three of them. We had constructive conversations; attrition’s one of them and just whether or not there’s the interest.”
Leyshock says police are working overtime and overall, he says the officers are tired.
“Just for safety purposes I hope we start getting more officers hired, and I think it will help morale,” he says.
While he calls it a noble profession, it’s also become a high profile job that isn’t high paying and sometimes can be less than rewarding. Leyshock adds police officers have been in the spotlight in recent years, but adds you can still make a a viable difference in the community.