Albemarle Faces Officer Shortage

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

December 14, 2006

There are nearly 700,000 law enforcement agents nationwide including 109 in Albemarle County. However, that 109 falls short of the County's magic number.

"I fell in love with the job after I got here and found out what it exactly entailed," said Officer Elizabeth Morris.

Morris is a 7 year veteran of the Albemarle County Police Department. She says she loves coming to work everyday because she gets to help people in their time of need.

"I enjoy the social skills. I enjoy the problem solving and helping people work through issues," she said.

Morris is one of 109 sworn officers in the department but that number is 9 below the target of 118. Sergeant Robert Beck says the County is always looking for a few good men and women.

"We look for somebody of good character, good moral standing, somebody that is motivated and somebody that has a commitment to serve the community," he said.

Beck believes the War in Iraq has drawn many who would be interested in serving their community to serve their country. Even with that, he says there are many different avenues in the department to peak a person's interest.

"Community Support Division, working in the schools, working in the neighborhoods, traffic unit and as well as opportunities in the investigations division," Beck said.

Morris says being a part of the team is what drew her in and keep her coming back.

"I think teamwork is important here and reliability and trusting the other people that you work with are critical," she said.

The County is starting the hiring process again in mid January. The three month process is all in preparation to have their candidates eligible for the academy which begins again in May.

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