National brutality cases hurting police recruitment locally, officials say
"All they're seeing in all their newsfeeds is negative police behavior," Cordeiro said. "It's just been such a derogatory, negative tone on the police."
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) – Some local police departments said they’ve seen double-digit drops in recruitment and increases in early retirements.
New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro told ABC6 the department has seen a noticeable drop for the last five years.
Chief Cordeiro says the drop nears 30 percent.
“All they’re seeing in all their newsfeeds is negative police behavior,” Cordeiro said. “It’s just been such a derogatory, negative tone on the police.”
In Attleboro, Mayor Paul Heroux says he’s seen the drop in recruits and an increase in early retirements.
“Because they look at the job as just being a high liability to them and their family,” Mayor Heroux said.
Now, city and police officials are focusing on recruiting drives and improvements within their departments.
“It’s becoming increasingly unpopular to be a police officer, but that’s why we need to make sure our police officers act justly, make sure that they follow the law, make sure they’re well-trained,” Heroux told ABC6.
Officials say the recruitment and early retirement issues have not impacted response times, but have resulted in more overtime, and additional stress for officers.
“[That] can impact performance even, if you’re working that many hours,” Cordeiro said.
Some Massachusetts police and city officials tell ABC6 they would prefer more control of their own recruitment, rather than having to go through the state.