LIMA — Law enforcement agencies are under constant scrutiny these days working with the public, ensuring citizens are safe. Adequate staffing levels are paramount in the efficient protection of citizens, and Millennials are a big part of local police agencies’ and prisons’ staffing.
The Lima Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office use social media to get the word out on hiring future officers. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has enhanced its website to make it more user-friendly and uses social media as a mass communication and marketing tool.
“While we don’t have any campaigns directed specifically to Millennials, we are trying to be progressive with the way we recruit,” said Lieutenant Andy Green, shift commander and public information officer.
Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia added, “We obviously have the Allen County Sheriff’s Office website, and we will post things on there when we do have job openings.”
Ottawa Police Department has a force of eight full time officers and four part-time officers. While they don’t see a lot of retirement in the future, they are dependent on Millennials.
“We probably have one getting ready to retire, and probably the rest of our crew is Millennials,” said Lt. Joshua Strick, of the Ottawa Police Department.
The Ottawa Police Department is unique in that it is a smaller department, and that is an attraction to some Millennials.
“I think what brings people to a department like ours is the size. With a smaller community, you don’t have the big city problems,” Strick said. “Everyone is on a first-name basis, from the mayor on down to the people that are exercising daily.”
The Allen County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Ottawa Police Department are encouraged by the Millennials currently on the force.
“I can honestly tell you that all of the Millennials that we have hired all seem very eager to move up the ladder. They are driven that way, it seems,” Treglia said.
Strick added, “Usually all our younger guys want to get out there, and they want to take on extra responsibilities.”
Keeping Millennials content with the job is one way of keeping them on the force. The Lima Police Department works three shifts, morning, afternoons and nights.
“We have three patrol shifts to cover the 24 hour day. The guys like that schedule,” said Green. “Patrol officers work eight-hour shifts and have a rotating schedule.”
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department recently changed its working schedule to 12-hour shifts.
“We have two platoons, a day and a night platoon, and that has allowed us more coverage for the county as far as people on the streets,” said Treglia. “After we implemented it, for three to six months, I actually had guys that were completely against it come in and tell me they were sorry and they loved the schedule. It works really good.”
Treglia also said that he lets the new officers know that after they are hired and are on the road, the sheriff’s office has other areas that the road officers can choose to participate in.
“We have a SWAT team, dive team, K-9 unit, an ID bureau, bomb squad, undercover narcotics unit, we have so many different quarks and so many different facets and things to do and things that they might specialize in, and that makes it attractive to people,” Treglia said.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.