AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department has a major shortage of police officers, a trend reflected in other big departments statewide and across the country.
The City of Austin lists about 100 unfilled positions and the police union says the problem is only getting worse, despite the finalization of a new labor contract. A number of officers retired or left the department while they were operating without a contract.
The number of applicants to the police academy is lower than a decade ago and the quality of applications has also lowered, according to Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday.
“We have 3 percent unemployment. People have jobs. And law enforcement does a bang-up job of recruiting when the environment’s bad because you always have to have police officers, even when the economy’s bad,” Casaday said. “So we tend to do better in a down market.”
If you want to be an officer, the deadline to apply for the 2019 police academy is Monday. One application tip online was to take a copy of your credit report for the interview because along with drug use, bad credit is among the biggest factors that can disqualify a candidate for the academy.
You can find more details on the APD recruiting website.