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Interest in law enforcement is declining; Council Bluffs police looking to recruit

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 19:34:56-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Council Bluffs Police are looking for eight people and they are looking to fill the positions fast, but a captain says there are notably fewer applicants.

When talking to residents in Council Bluffs they all believe in the weight of the job.

"That role is really critical - being the first one on the site of something that's either really dangerous or potentially dangerous," Kent Day said.

But resident Sandy Day believes the profession will evolve due to the current climate.

"The incredible unrest and racism we're seeing, with people being violent against others just because of their background and their heritage, I think law enforcement probably in and of itself is going to have a new look at how they train," Day said.

Council Bluffs Police Capt. Scott Milner says the responsibilities of the job are proving to be too hard to bear for potential applicants.

"You know 30 plus years ago, when I applied, we had close to 500-600 applicants. When we tested in March of this year, we had 90 applicants and only 42 people showed up," Milner said.

Milner cites higher-paid jobs, civil unrest, and anti-police sentiment as potential reasons for the decline and says it's "frustrating" to see a lack of interest.

"You know, by and large, every police officer in this country is a good cop," Milner said. "There's a bad egg in every career field, whatever it is."

Ultimately, Milner wants to reassure the public: wearing the badge is still an honor.

"You truly do get to make a difference in this world, you get to help people, help your community, get a chance to represent your agency, your family, luckily I've gotten the chance to do this for 30 + years," Milner said.

It's a chance — he hopes — other people will be willing to take.

The City of Council Bluffs is accepting applications until July 16. There is a hiring bonus of $5000 for currently certified police officers.

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