First, the Governor of Florida made a trip to lure businesses down south and now, police departments are trying to recruit officers who have been laid off.
The DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia is currently hiring police officers and extending invitations to Connecticut’s laid off troopers to apply.
“Not just as a brother in blue but as a father, I feel terrible for these officers,” DeKalb County Police Department Lt. Toeldo said. “I think there’s a great opportunity for us to offer them a situation for them to be able to provide for their family while they’re still doing the job they love to do.”
Lt. Toledo said he understands the struggle having to once move from the northeast to become a police officer. He said there weren’t available jobs at the time.
According to Toledo, the department has great medical and pension benefits, as well as other perks such as take home cars and a four day work week.
“We have many opportunities for growth, in terms of different areas from patrol, to criminal investigation division, to our homeland investigation division, we have an aerial unit,” he said. “There’s a lot of room for advancements, for professional growth and personal growth.”
The DeKalb County Police Department has about 860 officers and the search for more is continuous.
“We’re looking for officers and applicants, as well, who are non-officers to apply with our agency,” he said. “But we definitely want to take a look at veteran officers due to the fact of the experience, the maturity level and the life experiences to serve our community.”
Connecticut State Police Union President Andrew Matthews said he’s not surprised. He said he was contacted by the Dallas Police Department and a sheriff’s department in Virginia about laid off troopers.
“People realize the quality of the candidates that we hire, the amount of training and the money that the taxpayers put into our troopers,” Matthews said. “I think they see real value in that.”
Matthews said out-of-state departments reached out to the union in 2011 when 56 troopers were laid off.
Right now, layoffs have been put on hold, but may still happen, pending a vote by the unions on a concession agreement with Governor Malloy’s administration.
“Ratification voting will go on now through July 17th, and we'll know whether the membership statewide for all 33 unions approve it and if that occurs then the legislature will have the option of approving that along with the budget,” Matthews said. “We’re hopeful.”
The application for the DeKalb County Police Department can be found here. Lt. Toledo said they will accommodate out-of-state residents in the process to not have to make numerous trips.
There are police departments in Connecticut recruiting including the Hartford Police Department. More information can be found here.