Police Recruiting Numbers Down, Media Criticism Gets Some Blame


Boston cops, faced with a dramatic, bewildering drop in candidates for police jobs, are launching a citywide blitz to boost their recruitment numbers, pushing applications at neighborhood meetings, on social media and even at last weekend's St. Patrick's Day parade, says the Boston Herald. “We've been everywhere. We've really blanketed the entire city,” said Boston police Deputy Superintendent Lisa Holmes, who is leading the recruitment drive. “I don't know why the numbers have dwindled. I think that's a question every law-enforcement agency nationwide is trying to answer, because everyone is having the same issue recruiting.”

As of last week, Boston had signed up about 1,000 for the next entry exam, well below the 2,500 who registered in 2007. Applicants plummeted in recent years both in Boston and statewide. Several factors may be deterring prospective cops, including uncertainty over job security in cash-strapped big cities, and harsh treatment from media, said Maria Haberfeld of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Police are under fire all the time in the last couple of decades, and in the last few years, more and more. Police cannot do right. Everything they do is wrong. If the perp's pointing the gun at them, if they kill the perp, they're still doing something wrong. People are not attracted to a profession that is constantly criticized by the media for its performance.”

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