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Shortage of law enforcement officers having an impact in central Wisconsin

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) — ‘Help Wanted’ signs are plastered throughout central Wisconsin.

However, when it comes to recruiting law enforcement officers, the process goes beyond just a sign and an application, which makes hiring even harder.

The jail cells at Marathon County Jail may be full, but the staff is not.

“We are working hard as an administration to close those gaps and get those positions filled,” said Sandra LaDu, jail administrator at Marathon County Jail.

The shortage of officers is having an impact on staff, according to LaDu.

“Officers are continuously working 12-hour shifts,” LaDu said.

LaDu said working in law enforcement isn’t a typical 9-to-5 or Monday through Friday job.

“You really have to have the desire to work in the field and take on that responsibility, because it really does come at a cost,” LaDu said.

LaDu said the occupation can take an emotional toll on many.

“We are having to be trained in crisis management and mental health more than ever now and dealing with medical and detox,” LaDu said.

The Wausau Police Department also saw a decrease in people applying to become police officers.

“You know, we are dealing with more crime on a day-to-day basis and our call volume always warrants the need for more officers,” said Lieutenant Melinda Pauls of the Wausau Police Department.

Although the quantity of applicants havedecreased, Lt. Pauls said their main focus is quality.

“We have been more proactive to going out to more recruitment fairs and job fairs to find more applicants.  Although we have definitely have decline in numbers, we see the ones that we had are still very good,” she said.

As they look to fill open roles, officials said they are doing the best they can to keep up with the growing crime.

The Marathon County Jail said they are hiring for six positions.

The Wausau Police Department is having a recruiting event this Saturday.

To find out more information you can call the Wausau Police Department.





Victoria Saha

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