Law enforcement is facing some of the toughest challenges to date as many departments see fewer hires, increased resignations and significantly more retirements.
In a study conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), law enforcement agencies experienced a 5 percent decrease in hiring rates, an 18 percent increase in resignation rates, and a 45 percent increase in retirement rates in a period from April 2019 to March 2020.
Our Denton County Sheriff’s Office is among the agencies affected by this phenomenon we are seeing across our country.
For the first time in decades, we have 183 vacancies in our Detention Officers, leaving 40 percent of our existing staff to cover the duties inside our detention facilities.
These figures do not include the vacancies among other positions throughout the Sheriff’s Office.
As a result, we have proposed increasing the pay scale of our Detention Officers by 10 percent in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget to bring salaries to a competitive rate. We have also thought of other opportunities to enhance the number of people applying for these positions. If you are interested in joining our ranks at the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, please check out our openings here.
What many may not realize is that a number of our law enforcement staff started their careers as Detention Officers where they learned the operations, applied for their Basic Peace Officer licenses and launched lifelong careers in an industry that serves the public in many ways.
When anyone dials 9-1-1 in an emergency, law enforcement personnel are the very people who come to your home or business to ensure your safety and investigate whatever incident you experienced, be it a burglary, a suspicious individual hanging around your house or, during a major storm as recently occurred in Dallas and Fort Worth, help firefighters rescue you from your flooded vehicle.
Our men and women in blue are dedicated to policing our streets, highways, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and counties. They follow a strict code of honor, undergo continual training, and must be willing to put their lives on the line.
It is a profession that has continued in families for generations and one I sincerely hope will continue for generations to come.
A world without these men and women in blue would be a place I believe none of us would want to live in. Their existence allows us to enjoy peaceful, safe lives that many of us take for granted.
I hope our current generation coming into adulthood will consider a career in law enforcement as it will provide them with a lifelong sense of accomplishment and pride in knowing they are making a difference.
From the lives they save, even with issuing a speeding ticket to someone whose actions could have resulted in a fatal accident, they watch our backs. We should watch theirs.
As we near the 21st anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, when many of our first responders lost their lives, we should take a few minutes to thank them for all they do for us day in and day out.
Thank you to all Denton County law enforcement and first responders. We greatly appreciate your service to all residents in our great county. You help keep us #DentonCountyStrong.
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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is email@example.com, and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, register for my newsletter at www.Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup