Chicago Police Division seeks to recruit Marines amid officer scarcity

Almost 50 new officers not too long ago joined the Chicago Police Division, however it’s nonetheless 1,300 officers wanting what the division says it wants. 

“The fact is that we have to fill the gaps shortly,” Chicago police Deputy Chief Migdalia Bulnes informed CBS Information. 

So Chicago is trying to former Marines to assist fill the void. 

On a visit to Camp Pendleton close to San Diego, the place about 9,000 Marines change into civilians yearly, Bulnes introduced together with her six officers, all former Marines, to assist in the recruiting course of. However it’s not all the time a straightforward promote. Bulnes stated one of many greatest challenges in recruiting new officers is “the negativity that goes round it.” 

Because the nationwide reckoning that adopted George Floyd’s demise in 2020, police departments throughout the nation are struggling to maintain officers. In accordance with a latest survey of 172 police departments, resignations are up by greater than 40% since 2019, and retirements elevated by nearly 25% throughout the identical interval. 

Whereas Marines — extremely skilled, match and disciplined — may look like an ideal match, some fear that expertise meant for battlefields aren’t appropriate for metropolis streets. 

“The very first thing is: are we making legislation enforcement course of too militant?” Bulnes asks. “And no, we’re not. They’re people, identical to us, identical to you. The method will weed out people who have points.” 

Background checks, drug screens and written checks got instantly onsite to the 19 Marines who utilized. A course of that sometimes used to take a number of months is now compressed to 3 weeks. 

Cpls. Christopher Rivera and Jeremiah Harrington have been amongst those that signed up. Rivera stated he had no hesitations. 

“Particularly becoming a member of the Marine Corps, that is one thing that you recognize what you signed up for,” Rivera informed CBS Information. 

“I simply wish to deliver the crime fee down and serve an amazing group,” Harrington stated.

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