Opinion: NJ Facing Police Shortage and It’s No Wonder Why
Just a year ago there was no shortage of people willing to put on a police uniform to serve and protect the public. It was a fairly attractive prospect, decent pay and great benefits if you could hack it and you end up with a pretty good pension in 20 or 25 years of service.
That was then. Now, New Jersey has seen a dramatic drop in new recruits.
Pat Callahan, Superintendent of the NJSP tells NJ.com that in just one-year applications have dropped from between 15,000 and 20,000 to just 2,130 this year.
Pat Colligan head of the NJ Police Benevolent Association tells the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Every action has a reaction. When you vilify every police officer for every bad police officer’s decision, [people] don’t want to take this job anymore. It’s been a very trying and difficult time to put on the badge every day.”
Who can blame young people for not wanting to take the added risks becoming a cop today can entail and who can blame all of the cops who are putting in for early retirement? It's long been a thankless job at times, but now it's even more unenviable given the public's perception thanks to the media and feckless politicians who don't have their backs.
In New Jersey, the Governor and the Attorney General both seem more interested in protecting people involved in criminal activity than backing the people who protect us from them. Put that together with more ridiculously strict rules on legal gun ownership and you have a very vulnerable populace here in New Jersey.
The next few years will be a more dangerous time to be a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen in our state. Buckle up kids, we're in for a bumpy ride. Thanks, Murph!