FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - The Fort Wayne Police Department is using a unique marketing campaign to try and lure job candidates in a tough hiring environment.
Billboards advertising that the city police department is hiring new and lateral officers from other agencies went up in four major U.S. cities starting October 19.
The billboards are posted in the Greater Chicago area, Atlanta, Louisville, and Asheville North Carolina.
Uncomfortable working relationships between police and the public in some communities, or in some cases low officer pay are making some cops dissatisfied with their current jobs.
"There's been a lot of disgruntled officers who aren't really feeling the community's appreciation for what they do. A lot of officers have resigned in some of these areas that we're going to, so we're hoping maybe to tap into some of that talent already before they head off into different career paths," said Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena with the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Steven Espinoza, the president of FWPD's patrolman's union, likes the billboard campaign, but he says local government needs to boost the pay of Fort Wayne officers too if it wants to make the city's police force attractive to outside job candidates.
The billboards will stay up in the four cities mentioned until about November 20.
At that time, the department will assess if the campaign is being effective, and if so, it might be extended longer, or expanded into other cities.
FWPD intends to bring in a class of lateral hires early next spring, and field a recruit class in early 2022.