New Officers Are Good News, But Department Still Has Way To Go

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Six new police officers received their badges Monday (August 21st), but the Fort Smith Police Department is still a ways a way from being fully staffed.

Recruiting coordinator, Corporal Scott Jackson tells 5NEWS the department is staffed with about 136 officers. He says the budget allows for 151. But they'd prefer to be at 164.

Which means the department remains short staffed, and even with the introduction of bright, young officers, it still has a long way to go.

The department is in an application process right now.

Jackson says from the announcement applications are open to hiring to training, it could be as long as 9-10 months before a new officer is functioning alone.

The hope is for more fresh faces like the ones introduced Monday to guide the Fort Smith Police Department into the future.

The issue goes beyond here at home. Corporal Jackson tells us these staffing shortages are a nationwide trend. He also asks that anyone interested in working contact him or the department for help getting started.