The article failed to note the absurd hiring process for many departments, which rejects highly qualified applicants for moving violations while waving through those with 'uncomplicated' applications. And that's without the capricious idiocy of the polygraph, which does a great job of terrifying and confusing the honest.
In Minnesota, applicants must have a 2-year degree and attend a police academy (locally called "skills") on their own dime before they are "eligible to be licensed" and can apply for a peace officer position. This process incurs an investment of approximately $30K. In recent interviews of Minnesota chiefs, they have not seen a decrease of applicants YET, but based on the aforementioned, there could be a 2-year lag before any noticeable change that could be attributed to anti-police sentiment. What the chiefs did say was that while they have a plethora of APPLICANTS for open positions, there are very few truly qualified CANDIDATES among that applicant pool.
The improving economy probably has something to do with it. In a 11/18/2009 article, the NY Times reported "After years of struggling to lure top-quality recruits, the New York Police Department has found that the prolonged recession — coupled with a significant increase in first-year salaries — has generated new interest in police careers. Applications to the Police Academy rose 54 percent in 2008 from 2007..." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/nyregion/18recruit.html
I think that was when the NYPD raised the starting wage from something shamefull like $23,000/year! I think that's all that happened back then.
It's pretty common for union jobs to have a very low starting pay which goes up quickly, as the NYPD did (and as the IBEW still does).
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