Criminal Justice- Police Shortage

Police Officer Shortage: A Looming Crisis

Police agents stand out in the street with their polished badges and neatly pressed uniforms. A nation's law and order are maintained by its police force. However, a pattern is emerging in places like Texas, where the number of police recruits and applicants is drastically declining. The sharp decline in law enforcement officers in other places, like ST. Antonio, is downright ugly.

The Challenges of Being a Police Officer

Even though I love the idea of a "knight in a shining blue uniform," I don't want to work as a police officer. Police officers risk their lives in the line of duties while risking to protect ungrateful citizens. Bank heists, suicide bombers, terrorist attacks, burglaries are some of the dangerous encounters random officers are faced with in the face of making a living. Also, the work involving maintaining law and order is strenuous and stressful. One minute you are on traffic patrol, the next, you are up the Kalahari Desert chasing after a kidnapper holding several hostages with whom he has tied a ticking time bomb onto. This steals away family time for most police officers since duty comes unpredictably notorious. Since the Man cannot possibly predict the future, police officers always have to be alert and ready when duty calls, doesn’t matter if it is Thanksgiving or your wife just delivered a baby boy. When life is at risk, everything else stays at risk. This is some load of work I am not ready for in my 100 years or so lifespan.

The Consequences of a Police Officer Shortage

States like Dallas and Texas report to low police officer shortage. So widespread is the shortage that even applications lag behind in numbers. As a result, crime rates have increased up to 15% according to the Dallas Police Association. The shortage stems from several factors, most of which are personal. Most people view police work as strenuous and involving. Police officers spend 80% of their day investigating or running after a criminal on the run. Consequently, they do not have enough time with their families. On top of that, the danger associated with police work is risky. Texas executive, Lawrence posits that the dangers of police work are life threatening and are on the rise (Li, 2016). In parallel, he argues that more and more police officers are killed in gun fires that ensue between criminals and police officers. In 2016 for instance, Texas led in the number of police offer killings in the line of duties (Barry & Jones, 2016). Bulletproof resources, on the other hand, are expensive and approximate to up to 20 million dollars; defying the logic that some police officers in small states relies on meager pay. Another cause for the shortage is the inability to retain police workers. In Dallas for instance, most police shift to bigger cities for more lucrative opportunities and experiences leaving states like Dallas and Texas with police shortages. Also hiring recruits and catering for the needed resources require over 90 million dollars says former city councilman and Congressman Chris Bell. This is expensive for the allocated budget.

Addressing the Police Officer Shortage

While police officers form a pertinent faculty in the contemporary society, the shortage is an alarming issue that needs to be addressed. With the drop in the number of police officers, America risks housing and accommodating all sorts of crime and drug-related activities and individuals. Lives remain unsafe as long as law and order continue to be elusive. With increased crime rates, American neighborhoods remain hazardous, dangerous and unhealthy to live. The American government and related organizations should, therefore, strive to lower standards to recruit more officers. Correspondingly, funds should be availed to ensure the smooth flow of police work in the states.


Li, Y. (2016). Correlates of police chief turnover in Texas (Doctoral dissertation, Sam Houston State University).

Barry, R., & Jones, C. (2014). Incomplete records: Hundreds of police killings uncounted in federal stats. The Wall Street Journal, A1.

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