Minnesota police departments struggle to recruit officers

Police departments in Minnesota struggle to fill their ranks with new recruits.

Applicants to the St. Paul Police Department, for example, are half of what they were in the 1990s. Statewide, the number of prospects taking the licensing test has fallen to the lowest level in a decade. Police officials cite a hot private sector employment market and controversies over police shootings and police-community relations as part of the reason.

MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with two Minnesota police chiefs about the challenges of recruiting and two officers about why they got into the job.

Guests: Wm. Blair Anderson — Chief of Police, St. Cloud Police Department

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Todd Axtell — Chief of Police, St. Paul Police Department

Lauren Ireland — Inver Grove Heights Police Department

Jill Krause — Trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.