Arkansas Police Agencies Looking to Fill Vacancies

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Police agencies across Arkansas are looking to fill vacancies in a job market in which experienced law officers are hard to find and hard to keep.

Statistics kept by the Arkansas Crime Information Center reveal that 17 of 22 Arkansas cities with more than 20,000 people have fewer officers than the national average of one for every 402 residents.  That's according to a report in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

For regular patrol jobs, agencies are competing against each other for applicants.

In northwest Arkansas, police departments say that growth has outpaced their ability to fund and hire new officers.  Some officers are leaving to work for private sector business, such as Wal-Mart.

Little Rock police has a batch of recruits in a training class.  But even once those officers are on patrol, the agency will still be short 13 officers.  Little Rock police spokesman Terry Hastings says that anyone with law enforcement or military experience can get a job as an Arkansas police officer right now.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)