Officer shortage prompts police department in Georgia to seek recruits in NJ

A police department in Georgia that is in need of officers has come to New Jersey looking for new recruits.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2022, 9:51 PM

Updated 709 days ago


A police department in Georgia that is in need of officers has come to New Jersey looking for new recruits.
The gymnasium at Hasbrouck Heights High School was reserved Thursday morning for testing for those who want to become police officers. But the candidates won’t be going to any local police departments. They are seeking jobs with the Alpharetta Police Department.
“We are prepared to do our entire testing process here on Jersey soil,” says Alpharetta Police Capt. Jakai Braithwaite.
Braithwaite grew up in Hopatcong. He grew tired of waiting to get a job on a force in New Jersey and found Alpharetta 24 years ago. While there are too many candidates in the Garden State, Braithwaite says it is very different in Georgia.
“There’s a small pool of candidates who are interested in the job, and we are eating each other alive. We are all competing for them,” Braithwaite says. “Honestly, just being transparent, we are not popular right now. Being in law enforcement right now is not popular.”
Alpharetta Chief John Robison says it was totally different in 2011 when he was in charge of hiring.
“We would have 160 people show up for four openings. Nothing like that now,” Robison says.
The Alpharetta police force is looking to fill as many as 13 jobs in the department. Robison says the candidates at the Hasbrouck Heights gym could be on the job as soon as August.
One of those possible candidates is Tom Horne from Hamilton, a recent grad of Rider University.
“With New Jersey departments, I’ve been waiting years and to have this happen in a day or two, it’s pretty unique,” Horne says.
At 22, Horne says he wants to work but has not been able to land an interview with a local police department, sheriff’s office or the New Jersey State Police.
This would be much different in Alpharetta.
“A guy like him, assuming he gets through the process, I’ll have him hired in two months,” says Robison.
The candidates were on Zoom calls for interviews. If all goes well, they could start a career in law enforcement in the South before the summer is over.
“If you were to see Alpharetta yourself, you’d say, ‘You know what? I’m staying,’” Braithwaite says.
Alpharetta police will be at the Hasbrouck Heights High School gymnasium again on Friday morning. Anyone serious about joining their force should show up by 9 a.m.

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