EVANGELINE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Staffing shortages continue to plague every industry in the country, including law enforcement agencies.

In Evangeline Parish, Sheriff Charles Guillory says he is struggling to recruit and staff the next generation of officers.

“I tried hiring police and deputies in specialized fields. There are only so many going around,” Guillory explains.

He says the problem extends beyond that.

“The last month, 20 people in my office had COVID.”

He says the issue now is having to ask his current deputies to take on more tasks.

“Right now, I have four people out, that creates a shortage so I have officers that have to work overtime.”

With that overtime, Sheriff Guillory says comes burnout.

He says he wants at least five patrolmen per shift.

Currently, he employs four on two shifts.

“It’s just a hard thing to do.”

Sheriff Guillory says the ongoing pandemic and positive cases also make the interviewing process just that much harder.

He says applications come in daily and he is interviewing weekly.

However, he says he will not compromise quality for quantity.

“I’m trying not to go too far down the ladder. I want to maintain quality.”