Lee Announces New Local Law Enforcement Recruitment Effort

Advocate Andy

Governor offers state assistance to local agencies to help attract, retain officers

Gov. Bill Lee recently announced a new state effort to help local law enforcement agencies combat a shortage of recruits seeking to become officers.

The assistance comes in the way of funding to provide training for new officers and to offer bonuses once a new recruit completes training.

“To stay ahead of the nationwide spike in crime, Tennessee is taking every step to recruit, train and retain highly-qualified law enforcement officers to keep our communities safe,” said Lee. “I commend police departments and sheriff’s offices for their continued partnership, and I’m confident these additional measures will strengthen public safety and relieve financial burdens for local law enforcement agencies.”

The funds provided by Lee's initiative include $24 million to cover basic training. Essentially, local agencies can have the tuition at the state's officer training academy waived - a cost of $3000 per officer.

A second round of funding is available to provide signing bonuses to officers who complete training. That funding, some $30 million, will provide bonuses for up to 3000 officers at agencies across the state.

 “Providing law enforcement with the best training available is what Tennessee citizens expect, and it is what we go to work every day to provide,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Carter Lawrence. "Governor Lee's bold, visionary plan for training and recruitment will help provide quality training for more local recruits at Tennessee's premier law enforcement training academy without impacting the bottom line of Tennessee’s local governments."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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