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Several East Texas law enforcement agencies are looking for applicants

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - With a wide-open job market, East Texas law enforcement agencies find themselves competing for workers.

Some agencies say they have 40 to 50 openings and are actively looking for candidates.

Texas law enforcement almost across the board is putting out the word that jobs and careers are available, and they need applicants.

“We’re finding that we’re not only losing people to other sectors of the market, but we are also losing applicants. Nobody’s applying,” says Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Josh Tubb.

Sheriff Larry Smith says there are over 40 job openings at the Smith County Sheriff’s office, most in the jail.

Several openings at Longview Police Department, and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office has over 50 openings, again most in the jail.

Varied elements over the past year have led to a shortfall of people wanting to go into law enforcement.

Competing with an open market right now, there are some contributing factors as to why law enforcement got to this point.

“We had openings prior to COVID but nothing this substantial. Now that the market is opening back up everybody is struggling for employees, and paying top dollar to have people come,” Tubb says.

Smaller departments, such as Hawkins, don’t have the complications of a jail, and are having no problem with staffing.

“You work in a small town, you’re working on a more personal level with the community, I think,” says Hawkins Patrol Officer Eric Tuma.

Bottom line is there has never been a better opportunity to get into law enforcement.

“It brings us great joy to know that we are helping our community and if that is for you, then law enforcement is for you,” says Lieutenant Tubb.

There are a number of diverse jobs at sheriff’s offices that include jailer, medical and nursing, pharmacy and even airport divisions.

Tyler police were among the few that had limited job openings.

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