String of retirements prompts Milwaukee Police Department's search for qualified recruits

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Police Department is having a hard time attracting qualified recruits, and it’s launching new outreach to fill vacant positions. 

“I’ve wanted to be a Milwaukee Police officer since I came in to Milwaukee,” Wayne Thoreson. 

In other words, becoming a police officer has been a goal for Thoreson for several years. Born and raised in Chicago, he and his family moved to the area after he was discharged from the army.

“I’m really excited to be here today,” Thoreson said. 

“And i’m really excited that it’s been a while since Milwaukee has opened up their application process, and to be here today is kind of an honor,” he continued. 

The department is just as excited to host Thoreson and the dozens of other hopeful officer candidates. According to Captain Nicole Davila, MPD is on a mission to fill officer vacancies.

“We are experiencing a high rate of retirement and we need to fill those vacancies as they arise,” Captain Davila said. 

Out of all those who apply by the March 31st deadline, Captain Davila hopes to have at least 65 recruits in her upcoming December class, but she admits convincing people of a career in law enforcement isn’t the easiest task.

“Nationally, officers are being injured, shot at, and it seems we don’t have exactly the best reputation right now,” Captain Davila said. 

“And so it’s hard for people to apply and it’s hard for families to support their young ones to apply,” she continued. 

The minimum age to apply this year is 20 as long as the candidate is 21 by the of his or her appointment. 
 
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