Danville Police Department looking to fill 11 positions
DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) - There is a higher vacancy rate than normal inside the Danville Police Department, according to the city. The department is trying to fill 11 positions.
"It's not all the glamour that you see on television on police TV shows," says Sergeant Casey Allen.
Finding new recruits can be a challenge. So, the department is holding a job fair.
"If you want to make a difference, if you're tired of the violence, then come out and take a step forward," Lieutenant Michael Wallace says.
The city tells ABC 13 they have 120 sworn officers, but need 131 to be fully-staffed. Wallace explains the problem is once they fill spots, the new officers are still limited with their roles until they complete their training. "So actually having them able to contribute manpower wise is a struggle."
So you won't see them on the streets right away helping to solve a recent crime.
"It was 8 years at the department before I got moved to investigations," Sergeant Richard Chivvis says.
They say the primary function in the department is to patrol and interact with community members, which helps to keep your family safe.
Administrators tell us there are a number of factors that come into play in trying to retain officers in any department. "I'm sure money is part of that issue, retirement is probably part of that issue, the danger of the job is probably part of that issue," Wallace says.
We compared Danville's pay to other cities. According to a press release from the city, salaries for police officers starting are close to $36,000. The City of Lynchburg's website states their starting salary is nearly $36,500, and Roanoke's is around $37,700.
The department hopes a $1,500 signing bonus attracts good candidates. The signing bonus would require the new officers to work for the department for a certain amount of years.
The city says they are also looking for ten youth care workers for the juvenile detention division, two correctional lieutenants, one correctional captain, one correctional officer, and a correctional health assistant for the adult detention division. Salaries for youth care workers are $29,823. Correctional officers and supervisors range from $32,507 to $39,000.
The job fair will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Pepsi Building on Craghead Street.