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Police service under the gun to hire

Police union rep saying the service has been in need of new officers for years.
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The Ottawa Police Service badge. (Photo/ Ottawa Police Service Twitter)

The Ottawa Police Service is looking for hundreds of new recruits over the next five years, in order to adequately serve a growing community.

President of the Ottawa Police Association Matt Skof told The Rick Gibbons Show, the problem is one of the police service leadership's own making.

He said there have been many recruitment numbers kicked around in recent years, including new recruits, but they all refer to replenishing a police service that has shrunk since 2012. Now, the goal is to hire 30 new officers each year.

"We are in a foot race now, trying to recruit," he said. "That is a large number per year when you [include] attrition of retirements, some resignations and adding on top the new recruitment."

Skof added that another issue is simply attracting people to policing as a career. The Ottawa Police Service is battling some perceptions of a lack of support for rank-and-file from the executive, not to mention the risks of day-to-day policing.

On the positive side, the union rep said Ottawa is a great city to live in, so they are already seeing a good amount of applications.

In order to reach their recruitment goals, Skof sees them reaching out to potential candidates from across the province.

Listen to the full conversation with President of the Ottawa Police Association Matt Skof:

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