Jonesboro Police Department reports good news regarding officer shortage

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department is on track to be fully staffed in the next coming months.

Officials with the department say this is “good news” especially since back in May Police Chief Rick Elliott reported to the City that the department was around 15 officers short.

Sgt. Morshayerick Racy confirmed that as of now, they have 10 going through law enforcement training academy, another person who is already certified should start this month, and another five individuals who are waiting on their background checks to be cleared.

Although 20 officers short may seem concerning, Racy said calls have been answers and all zones are covered.

“There have been some structural changes with days off and those kinds of things to get the shift covered. But, no one will have to worry about an officer not showing up, that’s not the case,” Racy said.

Several at the department are normally trained in Pocahontas at the law enforcement training academy: however, that training only happens twice a year.

So, the academy for the 10 cadets will happen in Jonesboro, which has several benefits including travel and the chance to familiarize themselves with the officers who already work in the department.

It is a 16-week training, then they will move on to rotations on all shifts with a field training officer, totaling up to about six months before they are officially on the ground running.

He did add that the department does not have a dire need of officers at this time and that they also have over 20 reserve officers to pull from if an emergency was to arise.

Sergeant Racy said “you can never have too many” when referring to staffing and he encouraged anyone interested in becoming an officer to apply here.

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