SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Law enforcement agencies across Iowa continue to search for new employees, from dispatchers to deputies, due to staffing shortages.
Right now, the Sioux City Police Department is fully staffed. But the department has openings every year. But Officer Andrew Dutler with the SCPD says the number of applicants for those openings have declined.
"It used to be a thing that we were easily in the triple digits in regard to people filling out applications and showing up for our testing. Just as of about five years ago it was very common for us to have a hundred applicants even if that was only for two positions. And what we're seeing now is we're more around the 40 to 50 range," said Dutler.
Overall, there has been about a 50% decrease of eligible applicants to the SCPD in the last five years.
- In the 2015-2016 year, there were 103 applicants eligible for testing.
- In the 2017-2018 year, there were 55 applicants eligible for testing.
- In 2019, there were 55 applicants eligible for testing.
- In 2021, eligible applicants dropped to 47.
Sioux City Police Officer Brennan Gill is a member of the traffic enforcement unity of the SCPD, and she joined the force back in 2016. She signed-on after serving as a corrections officer in the Woodbury County Jail. She originally went to school to become a teacher, but after she got her two-year degree, she decided to go a different route.
"When I was starting to look for my bachelor's program I was like, 'man, I don't know if I really want to be a teacher.' And so then at that point I'd been in the military for a while and I really liked the aspect of being a part of a team or being a part of something that's bigger than myself," said Gill.
Gill says there is one thing she loves most about her job.
"Getting to actually be out in the community and just the fact it's always different, and I have a lot of opportunities to grow in my career," said Gill.
When it comes to serving the community, there is one important thing she takes to heart.
"It's not just I'm here for the job, because I do take it personally, if I can impact one person's life. Then I've done my job," said Gill.
She also says she ultimately wants to experience other parts of the job due to all the opportunity the department provides.
To become a member of the SCPD, applicants must be able to pass the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy’s physical agility test which consists of a 1.5-mile run, 1 minute sit-ups, 1 minute push-ups, and sit and reach; written exam, background test, psychological test, and medical screening.
If you're interested in becoming an officer with the SCPD, follow this link for more details.