WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is proposing a $23 million package that would assist in various recruitment and retention strategies to help with law enforcement shortages across the state.
According to Stein’s office, 506 fewer recruits took the Basic Law Enforcement Training exam last year than in 2019. There were 492 more law enforcement separations than new appointments in North Carolina between 2020 and 2021. Law enforcement retirements increased by 45%, and resignations increased by 18% nationwide in 2021.
On Monday, Stein announced the proposal with state leaders.
“Our current staffing issues present an untenable situation,” said Stein, “It puts our public at risk.”
Stein’s $23 million proposal, which includes hiring bonuses, a public awareness recruitment campaign, education fellowships, and a fix to allow retired officers to return to the job, would come from the legislature, a spokesperson said.
Stein says they’re seeing more violent crime, everywhere, due to current staffing levels. The North Carolina Association Chiefs of Police president says response times are slowing, and some calls aren’t as urgent as they once were.
The proposed recruitment campaign, included in his $23 million proposal, would focus on out-of-state officers and getting them to North Carolina according to WXII12.