EATON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — Police departments across the country are experiencing staffing issues, and Eaton County is no different.
According to Eaton County Commissioner Jacob Toomey, the sheriff’s department has nine openings, with three people currently in training.
The number of openings is expected to increase to 11 in December, because two command staff are retiring. Because they’re short-staffed, Eaton County is now getting help from the Michigan State Police, having MSP patrol most evenings and weekends.
Eaton County’s human resources director said they’re doing their best to address the problem, but departments across the state are feeling the shortage as well.
“The other thing to keep in mind is, people are advertising at our deputies on social media, so we are getting targeted ads. You’re seeing more ads, like in the Lansing Mall,” said Ben Dawson, Human Resources Director for Eaton County.
Dawson says that means law enforcement personnel is scarce everywhere, so agencies will try to draw talent from other agencies.
“So people are also actively trying to come after our deputies, because there is a national trend of it being difficult to recruit for law enforcement right now and in the state of Michigan,” said Dawson.
To address the problem, Eaton County Sheriff’s Department created the deputy paramedic position, which allows people to be cross-trained in law enforcement and emergency medicine.