MUNCIE, Ind. — The city of Muncie is looking to put more officers on the streets. The Muncie Police Department is in search of new hires to combat a growing decline.
They’re already making strides, this afternoon the police merit commission signed on three officers, But the department says they still have strides to make before reaching their goal.
Right now, the department is operating with 80 officers. It normally operates with about 110.
It normally operates with about 110.
“Well the decline is partially due to the fact that we’ve got several people in retirement transition, we’ve got several people that are sick injured or hurt,” said Muncie Police Chief, Nathan Sloan.
There’s been a 50% decline in applicants. And some who do apply have trouble making it through testing which sets the department back even more.
“We start with a physical agility test that’s the first thing. So, we always end up losing some people through that,” said Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 87, President Brandon Qualls.
Followed by a written test, background check, and the requirements of the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Academy, which many don’t pass. Qualls says the low officer numbers mean departments must choose what calls take priority.
“That’s obviously not the level of service we want to provide we want if you call the police, we want to make sure that an officer shows up at your door in a timely manner, said Qualls.
Then there are the nationwide protests and calls to defund police.
And locally several members of the Muncie Police Department are under federal investigation.
“We’ve had our issues in the past we’re making huge strides to build that trust especially with the new administration and that’s huge,” said Qualls.
All in all, Chief Sloan knows what he’s looking for in an effort to move his department forward and in a new direction.
“We ought to be a reflection and representation of who we’re serving. We’d like to have more applicants of color. But it is a tense time right now and a tense situation we understand that. But we are open to any all applicants,” said Chief Sloan.
The goal is to hire at least six more officers by March and hoping to get back to at least 100 by the next summer.
Applications are due Friday, August 28 by 4 pm at the Human Resources office at city hall.
Here’s a link to download the application.