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Police Officer Shortage

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick Police swore-in their newest officer Friday morning. The ceremony marks the first time the department has been fully staffed in four years.

The local police departments claim they strive to find only the best and brightest officers. The problem now - so does everybody else.

Friday Kennewick's Police Chief swore in Michael Rosane as the newest member of the Kennewick Police Department.

Rosane said he just got out of the army and thought this would be a good way to give back to the community.

"I like being in a service capacity. I don't like the idea of an office job, nine to five. I like every day to be different. I like everyday to be a challenge and that's what I expect for this career," said Rosane. 

Police work definitely fits the mold. Some days wearing a badge means putting yourself in harm's way, and at times you've got to act fast. But lately officers said finding new recruits isn't easy, and local departments keep coming up short.

"Which puts a strain on everybody because the calls for service, they don't go down. The expectations of citizens are the same," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.  

Pasco is short two officers. Richland is down three. And in a couple weeks one Kennewick officer is leaving, that puts K.P.D. off the mark again.

Lattin said clean cut recruits now have more job options than 20 years ago.

"The people we're looking for, the people who are educated, who are skilled, who don't have questionable issues in their backgrounds, every corporation wants those employees," said Lattin. 

With big corporations offering fat benefits, some departments don't think they can compete.