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Livingston Police Looking For New Officers

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Livingston Police Looking For New Officers

The Livingston Police Department is searching for more officers after being shorthanded for months due to officers leaving for other divisions and departments.

Livingston Police Chief Ray Smith said the department likes to have three officers on duty at all times but does not have the manpower to support that number right now. He said even with officers working extra shifts, it is a challenge to cover the entire city with only two on duty.

“Anytime you’ve got more help out here, it allows you to serve your community in a more efficient way,” Smith said. “Respond a lot quicker to any kind of situation that takes place; don’t have anybody waiting. It just gives a better service to the citizens here in Livingston if we’ve got “x” amount of officers on the streets for the calls of service.”

Smith said just two or three officers would make a major difference in helping the department balance responding to traffic calls, event coverage, and disturbances. He said the department has received interest and has visited with several potential hires, but it seems law enforcement is not as popular as it once was.

“A lot of times, we are who they call on when things have gone bad,” Smith said. “And to be able to get out there and help somebody in a time that they are in their greatest need is a positive job and it’s a great job, and it’s very rewarding.”

Smith said applicants will be invited to do a ride-along to get a feel for what Livingston Police working is like. He said of the potential hires that have participated in a ride-along during the search, many have said they were surprised with how much work the job entails.

“A lot of times, folks just think that we just ride around,” Smith said. “But we do a lot of things in our community and take care of a lot of situations and events, and, you know, there’s just a lot of things that happen that a lot of folks don’t know does go on. So, it gives them an opportunity to kind of see the life of a day-to-day officer.”

Smith said he believes police work used to be viewed as glamourous, but those days are gone. He said he believes schools should put more emphasis on teaching law enforcement and emergency management so that more kids dream of being officers like they did when he was young.

“I really that if we invest in the younger folks about looking at this as an option in their life, I think we could build the program to where we would have folks out that would be interested in it,” Smith said.

He said those interested can stop by the department and pick up an application.


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