The current staff shortage across the nation has begun to affect areas of local government, especially with local law enforcement and emergency services. And forcing some departments to rethink how they market law enforcement to perspective officers. One thing that is helping departments such as Houghton police, are first responder training grants from the state.
“Now, this day and age, you might have one or two spots in a small department, and you’re lucky if you get anybody to apply. That’s why I’ve had to market like we have. Otherwise we might only get a few applicants. We are working off of a state grant, the first responder grant from the governor. That grant ends in April though. So that’s why we’re pushing hard right now to get hires. Because we can use that funding to put recruits through the academy. And we can also pay them to go through the academy. Which we’ve never been able to do before.” – Lieutenant Nick Roberts
Recently the city of Houghton received a state grant to help the police department recruit and retain officers. Lieutenant Roberts says that it’s the community and residents he interacts with everyday who keep him around the area. He believes that it is the relationship between community and the department, that makes Houghton a desirable place to work.
“Most of the officer that we hire are from the Upper Peninsula. Especially the west end. We’ll get some from out east or downstate, but not very many. I came from the Detroit area, thirty years ago. And I;ve been with Houghton the entire time. There’s just been so much support from our communities around here. It would be very difficult for me to leave this community, before I retire. There’s overwhelming support everyday, people thanking us for our service. And I appreciate that, but it’s the community that’s made it desirable for me to stay here. And they believe in their police departments and first responders.” – Lieutenant Nick Roberts
Law enforcement officers and emergency service workers are always in high demand. If you are interested in working with the Houghton Police department please contact Lieutenant Nick Roberts for more information. He adds that those who apply for a position with the city of Houghton will need to complete the state’s MCOLES fitness and writing tests, before going to the police academy. Contact Lt. Nick Roberts at Houghton PD by calling 906 487 5912, or check out the Houghton Police Department’s website.