Horry County, SC - Employees at the J Reuben Detention Center in Horry County have been working overtime each month to fill the void of some 20 vacancies within the department.
Finding recruits to apply is becoming harder and harder, according to Director of Detention Tom Fox who says he's seen a 50-60% drop in the amount of applicants over the past few years.
It's a trend that many other law enforcement agencies across the country are seeing as well.
Fox says that to some degree, law enforcement has lost its appeal as a career because of recent headlines in the media, making recruits fearful.
"Some of them have a fear of what's going to happen if i do this, if i do that," Fox said. "With the readiness of the media, the instant everything...when an officer makes a mistake...he's already crucified before they even have a chance to really review or investigate."
Referencing recent use-of-force investigations that have put cops on the stand and killers targeting officers on the job, Fox says families aren't supporting applicants as much to apply.
However, Fox says he sees a light at the end of the tunnel for keeping the career of law enforcement serving the public.
"If you know that you may be videoed at any given moment then you need to understand that you need to do the right thing," Fox said. "So what I think it will do in the long run, it will make the policing profession a lot more professional and a lot more accountable to the public."
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