Police officials all around the state say 2022 was a struggle to fill the ranks of departments because of a number of factors including laws in the state that limit the actions of the officers. 2023 isn't looking any better since many of the laws are still in place and there's not a lot of talk of democrats supporting republican bills for change.

THE YAKIMA RECRUITMENT OFFICER HAS A LOT OF WORK AHEAD

Yakima Police Recruiting Officer Hayley Myers works to attract new officers and officers who transfer from other areas or lateral officers. Just like many other cities Yakima is short on the number of officers the city could fund if the officers were available.

Get our free mobile app

THE DEPARTMENT IS SHORT MORE THAN 20 OFFICERS

Currently the department is budgeted for 143 full time officers. Today the department is short 23 Officers. As the department works to attract more officers they're also searching for new corrections officers and lateral corrections officers from other departments. The city is also offering a $5,000 incentive payment to take the job.

THE SHORTAGE MEANS OFFICERS ARE WORKING OVERTIME

The lack of officers has made it a challenge for all officers because many have had to work overtime hours and perform other duties that used to be handled by other officers. The shortage forced the Yakima Police Department to cancel the traffic unit last year and transfer those duties to patrol officers. Since then the department has been slowly building back the traffic unit. The unit has been busy since late summer with major emphasis patrols that continue in 2024.

STAFFING LEVELS HAVEN'T IMPROVED YET

Capt. Jay Seely says he expected staffing levels to increase by the end of the summer and early fall of last year but the challenges continue today.
Seely is hoping to find more officers working in other departments who want to move to Yakima and work. Those lateral officers could hit the streets and start working rather than having to go through training and the academy.

MORE TOP STORIES FROM LANCE:

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

LOOK: 50 cozy towns to visit this winter

Stacker created a list of 50 cozy American towns to visit each winter. Towns were selected based on visitor opinions, ratings from nationwide publications, and tourist attractions.

Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff

More From News Talk KIT