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Los Angeles Police department officers look on as a large march by service employees and members from several other unions on the main thoroughfare to the entrance of Los Angeles International Airport during a large protest a day before Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012.
The Los Angeles Police Department is having a tough time finding qualified candidates that want to join the force, despite hitting its long-stated goal of hiring 10,000 officers less than a year before.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the decline started several months ago, resulting in a staff shortfall of some 100 officers at the LAPD. Attrition accounts for about 350 vacant positions every year and officials warn that the effects of understaffing could be felt for years to come if the trend persists. As a result of under-recruitment fewer women and blacks are making it into the the training academy, causing the department to miss its diversity targets.
Several factors contribute the problem. Less people are interested in joining the LAPD, firstly, and top candidates are being lured away by other law enforcement agencies that offer higher pay. Budget cuts also figure into the equation, taking away the money needed to put up recruitment ads on billboards, radio and television.
Sandy Jo MacArthur, LAPD Assistant Chief