Duluth Police Struggling With Recruitment, Officer Shortage

The Duluth Police Department is about 5 officers short of being fully staffed. But up to 16 are set to retire in the next year totaling 30 retirees in the next three years.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth Police Department is among the labor forces experiencing a dry spell. The number of applications this year to date is at its lowest in 3 years, as they work to overcome the growing number of retirees and some negative feelings towards police officers statewide.

Right now the Duluth Police Department is about 5 officers short of being fully staffed. But up to 16 are set to retire in the next year totaling 30 retirees in the next three years.

Also according to Chief Mike Tusken, more and more students in school for law enforcement careers are being pushed away from continuing, due to angst towards law enforcement growing in recent years.

He says statewide police departments are working harder to find the best-qualified applicants for the job.

“It is no question as competitive as an environment for police chiefs and police departments now to get those best candidates that we can,” Chief Tusken said. “They have to be a good fit for us.”

“We will work short if we don’t have the right candidates. We have done that previously,” he said.

The Department has only received 38 applications in 2021 so far.

Hiring is fast-tracked through the lateral hire program for officers with at least three years of experience who have POST licensing in good standing or are eligible for POST.

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