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Jackson County Sheriff’s Office anticipates tough time recruiting amid national police conversation

"It's hard for me to recommend a young person to get into this job right now," said Rocky Harnen, Chief Deputy at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 5:44 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2020 9:35 AM

One North Alabama sheriff's office says the current national climate on issues like police brutality and talk of defunding departments makes it harder to find employees.

"It's hard for me to recommend a young person to get into this job right now," said Rocky Harnen, Chief Deputy at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Rocky Harnen with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says all of the national attention on law enforcement and examples of brutality and people losing trust in police will make it hard to recruit good men and women to serve and protect.

He says one of his staff even went into early retirement.

"Recently lost one to early retirement who left a few months early because of what he described as the things going on in the country," said Harnen.

Harnen said he's been in law enforcement for almost 40 years and there's always been challenges recruiting people for the job but says now that could be even tougher

"We've had difficulty finding qualified applicants for both jail staff and road deputies. I anticipate it will be much harder and I anticipate people will be looking for other jobs if things continue the way they are," he said.

Harnen says he hopes things get better and says the Jackson County community has been supportive.

"Obviously there are changes that can be made to make things better, and everyone works on that everyday," said Harnen.

Right now the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says it is fully staffed.

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