CROWLEY, La (KLFY) Facing an officer shortage, the Crowley Police Department is taking steps towards their goal of recruiting by including young men and women as part of their strategy.

Police Chief Troy Hebert says the shortage is an issue he hopes to improve and says one solution to this problem is to offer competitive pay to entice more applicants and to hire young people from the area.

“When we lost 21 people and pulled all the resignation letters. 19 of them had the same thing in common, I love my job, but I must feed my family.”

Hebert says there are also a number of officers who have retired.

“We have a lot of people that retired out. So that caused a shortage across and you do have a demand that’s low because everything that is going on. The way that people look at police today, not a lot of them want to be police officers.”

He says he understands the way police are viewed plays a part in the shortage, but says he plans to help correct this by adding competitive pay and community outreach and he says he wants there to be trust between the community and police.

People outside of Crowley are encouraged to apply, but Hebert says he would love to hire young people from the area.

“I’m trying to entice some young people that live here in the city to come work for us. We definitely want the city covered like it should be covered.”

He encourages anyone who feels they are up for the job to apply in person at the police station.