POLICE

A New Approach: Rochester, NH Police Will Open Doors of Department for Job Fair

Policing experts said the intense scrutiny on law enforcement in recent years has discouraged some from entering the profession

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Ongoing staffing shortages are plaguing police departments nationwide and now one local department is taking unusual measures to fill open positions.

Rochester, New Hampshire police are thinking outside the box bringing people inside the department for a job fair.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever done something like this,” said Capt. Todd Pinkham. “Why not give it a shot?

It’s a bold and unusual strategy to tackle the ongoing staffing shortage that’s left Rochester with more than a dozen open positions, including eight patrol officers.

"We’re going to be answering questions, handing out applications, and helping through the process," Pinkham said.

He said the applicant pool has been shrinking for years.

"Over the past 10 years, it’s been cut in half."

And that’s not just in Rochester. President of the New Hampshire Police Association Michael Geha said nearly every department in the state is looking for qualified candidates.

"We’re working on approaches like paid training, signing bonuses, and higher salaries than before, all to try and compete with other job sectors," Geha explained.

Policing experts said the intense scrutiny on law enforcement in recent years has discouraged some from entering the profession. And the pandemic is only making things worse.

Pinkham is hoping that opening the department’s doors will spark interest.

He said maybe their first-ever police job fair could be a model for other departments fighting the same battle.

"We’re excited," Pinkham said. "There’s no end to the benefits of being a fully staffed police department."

He wants the public to know there are several civilian positions open at the department as well.

The job fair is Saturday, February 19 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the Rochester Police Department.

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