New Haven police recruiters Kelly Turner and Robert Strickland have gone to beaches, farmer’s markets, diversity fairs, and military bases around the state to make their sales pitch. Last weekend, says the New Haven Register, officers spent five hours at IKEA with some of the their newest gadgets on display. People curious about a career in law enforcement or about why there was such a large police presence outside the furniture store got to check out the new Special Emergency Response Team truck and some of the squad’s special equipment and weaponry. There was a bomb truck and a protective bomb technician suit laid out.
This weekend, police will be at an oyster festival and a tennis tournament. Recruits start at $38,394 and the salary rises to $58,914 after three years. Strickland said people have moved away from considering law enforcement as a career. Mayor John DeStefano Jr. wants to hire 90 or more police officers over the next two years. The city had set a goal of 45 new recruits in this last class but fell short. There are about 390 cops today compared to 460 at its peak. Last month, fewer than 20 people showed up to an open house at a school. There were twice as many officers staffing the event.