Bad publicity, low pay blamed for law enforcement shortage

Negative publicity and low pay has Kansas law enforcement agencies struggling to recruit new officers at a time when agencies have hundreds of openings but not enough qualified applicants to fill them.

With law enforcement feeling the heat of public scrutiny, some recruiters say young people are opting for better-paying careers that don’t have so much negative baggage attached.

The Wichita Eagle ( reports the Kansas Highway Patrol has more than 100 open positions but there are just 19 cadets in the patrol’s academy class now underway in Salina.

Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred says college has gotten so expensive that graduates have to find jobs that will allow them to pay off that debt.

Officials say starting pay for law enforcement positions in the Wichita area is around $20,000.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,