Tri-Cities law enforcement agencies team up for hiring event

Organizations from the Tri-Cities and Oregon were recruiting candidates in Richland, looking to fill the low staffing law enforcement is seeing.

RICHLAND, Wash. — Law enforcement agencies from all around the Columbia Basin teamed up for a public safety hiring event. Tri-Cities police, Sheriff’s Offices, corrections departments and more were recruiting.

“It’s not necessarily hard to hire, it’s hard to find people that are willing to still do the job,” said Deputy Brett Hansen with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

“The way the world looks at police, it’s hard to find people that want to be in this profession,” he said. With the risks law enforcement takes on, he said it’s hard to tell whether a community is going to be supportive or not.

However, Deputy Hansen said in the Tri-Cities, law enforcement sees a lot of local support.

“We’re lucky in this area that our cities, our agencies, our community is very supportive of law enforcement,” Deputy Hansen said.

Hiring for police is a long process, but that’s not the only deterrent.

“You never know what you’re gonna face when you’re on the streets as a police officer,” Crusselle said. “People don’t want to take on a career that they feel might be dangerous.”

There is no doubt being a first responder is a dangerous job. One attendee said he went to school with Dean Atkinson Jr., the Walla Walla Trooper shot in September.

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“He was on our football team, so it’s just crazy someone you know can almost have their life taken from them,” said Josh Jutz.

Jutz attended the hiring event, looking for a job in law enforcement. Despite the dangerous position, he said it wasn’t anything that would shy him away from the position.

Jutz said the support around the community is encouraging.

“It’s amazing to see a community that has that much respect for their officers,” Jutz said.

It’s not only police, but fire, dispatch and other first responders who are low-staffed and looking for qualified applicants.

READ: Tri-Cities police departments actively recruiting to raise low staffing levels

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