It’s a different challenge for Madison police, who have been ramping up their recruitment efforts over the past several years in preparation for a number of retirements across the department.
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In October, Chief Mike Koval spoke to 27 News, about the department’s efforts and concerns as he looked to replace his veteran officers.
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Now, Capt. Kreuger Favour, the department’s training captain, said this incoming class will be a big help, though it’s not an immediate solution.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do to replace a veteran that’s got 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 years of experience except bring in people and at some point in time they too will have that experience that they can share,” she said.
Kreuger Favour said that starts with training, which gets a bit more difficult with these larger classes.
“When I speak with my training staff, their ideal number would be 24,” she said. “So this is more than double what their ideal is.”
That means training will take more instructors and more resources over the next nine months at the police academy.
Across the country, police departments are seeing fewer and fewer applications and Madison is no different. Chief Koval said he used to receive about 1000 applications every year. Last year, he said he received about 550 applications, 41 of whom were selected for the police academy, 37 graduated in March.
“This is a historic thing and its happened all over the United States,” Krueger Favour said. “We in the city of Madison are fortunate that the quality of the applications that we receive is still very high.”
That’s the number one reason Krueger Favour said the department was able to hire 50 new officers. The department has expanded their recruiting efforts to eight states, to track down qualified applicants.
Krueger Favour said it will likely be a challenging nine months of training but if these officers succeed, it could set the department up for years to come.
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