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Police Departments across the region are struggling to hire officers

According to WKYC findings, this is a regional problem.

The city of Cleveland isn't the only city struggling to hire police officers.

According to WKYC findings, this is a regional problem.

Police training academies are working hard to pump out qualified candidates. But still, departments aren't finding enough people to fill the gaps.

Most people are willing to admit, being a police officer is a very tough job. Patrolling neighborhoods, conducting traffic stops, and even investigating a variety of crimes that could occur; it becomes an even more difficult task when their aren't enough officers to go around.

Right now it's apparent that law enforcement officers are leaving the department faster than they can be replaced.

Commander Jamie Tavano is the Police Academy Commander at Tri-C and he says departments from across Northeast Ohio are searching for officer candidates.

"We have departments coming in to speak to our cadets. And an average academy class lasts about four months. We probably have 10-15 departments come in each academy session to speak with the class."

Right now, each of those sessions is completely full and includes a waitlist. Tavano says at Tri-C they're careful not to expand too quickly.

"If you try to hurry up and fix the problem, sometimes you lower your standards. You're not going to get the best candidate for the job."

In 2016 it was projected that Northeast Ohio would have nearly 1,500 available jobs by the year 2022, with much of the need coming from current officers retiring. A problem that's revealing itself in front of our eyes. The key to fixing it is to start recruiting at younger ages.

" We look for those cadets that have those core values. Because if you do have those core values, it makes you more marketable out in the law enforcement field."

A field that's in dire need of more help. Tri-C works with local high schools to help train students for jobs in public safety and private security. The downside is that students still have to be 21 before they can be an officer in the state of Ohio.

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