Local police departments face staffing shortages

Ohio

WAVERLY, OHIO (WOWK) — There is a major problem plaguing our nation’s finest, and our region is not immune to it.

Police departments are dealing with staffing shortages, and it has the potential to affect the efficiency of the departments themselves.

In Waverly, Ohio, the police department is dealing with one such shortage—not uncommon in the region.

“[We’re] just trying to work with what we have, we’re trying to make adjustments now in our scheduling to be able to do more things and have enough officers out on the streets,” says Chief John Winfield of the Waverly Police Department.

It’s a problem they are trying to ease by advertising the positions which need to be filled.

“The need for hiring police officers is everywhere, especially in southern Ohio, but here we are probably about four officers short so we’re looking to at least hire two,” says Andrea Beasley, administrative assistant for the Waverly Police Department.

They are trying to get up to minimal staffing levels, which in Waverly means there would be three officers per shift.

“Right now, we are running with six officers, or seven officers including myself. We’re spread pretty thin, and the goal is to get more officers so we can start being a proactive department,” Chief Winfield says.

The Waverly Police Department has struggled with the minimal staffing issues for a while now.

“For us, it’s fluctuated for the past three years now. So, it’s been a battle the past three years at least since I’ve been here,” Chief Winfield says.

The strain of short staffing has a trickle-down effect into other aspects of the department as well.

“The maximum that we can keep them on shift is 18 hours, but we don’t like to go over twelve. Overtime can be rough on our budget,” Beasley says.

So, what exactly is the Waverly Police Department searching for in candidates?

“[They] have to be at least 21 years of age and possess an Ohio Police Certification already,” Chief Winfield says.  

Offering competitive pay and benefits to match, the department hopes it can bring employment up to speed as soon as possible.

“Like Chief Winfield said, it’s a really good starting point, or a really good ending point, if you’re close to retirement,” Beasley says.

If you’re interested in applying for a position as a police officer in Waverly, call the Waverly Police Department at (740) 947-2179, or send an email to either: jwinfield@waverlypd.net or abeasley@waverlypd.net.

For more information about the Waverly Police Department, visit their Facebook page here.

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