The Trenton Police Department is making a major push for new recruits by emphasizing a different kind of police work, one that encourages interaction between Trenton police officers and city residents. The reason for this philosophical change is that recent recruiting classes have been limited in recent years.
Ernest Parrey Jr., the Trenton police director since 2014, is utilizing a new strategy as he recruits his third class of potential police officers. The reason, said Parrey, is that he hopes to find “a deeper pool of candidates” with the desire to help fight against crime and protect residents of Trenton, New Jersey. One approach that Parrey and the Trenton Police Department are utilizing is to convince local residents who may be unsure about what exactly it is that the police force does on a daily basis. As the Trenton NJ police director puts it: a lot of folks “just don’t know anything about it.”
The Trenton police force is also focusing on city residents, people who grew up in Trenton and who will have a better understanding of their local community. Parrey observed that individuals “born and raised here” will likely make the best candidates for patrol officers because “they know the people, the area.” One of the keys to fighting crime going forward will be ensuring good community relations. Trenton residents are going to need to trust their police officers, just as Trenton police will need to trust the local residents.
In the past week, the Trenton Police Department has spread the word that city residents are wanted for the next recruiting class. A number of billboards have gone up in recent days to publicize the department’s recruiting efforts. Additionally, Trenton police will be hosting an open house for recruits at the Pentecostal Church Assembly of God, which is located on North Clinton Avenue. Current members of the Trenton police force will be in attendance at the open house so that they can answer any questions the prospective police officers might have about serving their community and protecting city residents against violent crimes, drug crimes, theft offenses, and other potentially dangerous criminal activity.
Encouraging a “Dallas Police Effect” in Trenton, New Jersey
For quite some time now, there has been a noticeable “anti-police current” running throughout New Jersey and other parts of the United States. For instance, anti-police protesters have staged demonstrations that shut down large areas in New York and Texas. This makes it even harder for police forces like the one in Trenton NJ to recruit new officers.
However, there is still hope that Trenton police may be able to welcome a large recruiting class in the coming months. Stephen Varn, a Trenton police lieutenant, pointed to the example of the Dallas Police Department. After the tragic mass shooting of police officers at a Black Lives Matter protect in Dallas, Texas, the Dallas police chief issued a call to action for local residents to join the police force. Applications to become a member of the Dallas Police Department tripled immediately after that statement was issued. Trenton NJ police officials hope that city residents will feel similarly about becoming “part of the difference.”
The need for a strong police presence in Trenton has been highlighted in the past few days as law enforcement has responded to multiple shootings in the city. Last Saturday, a Trenton SWAT team arrested a man who allegedly brandished a firearm as he threatened a local woman. The suspect was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a handgun, among other criminal offenses.
The next day, Trenton NJ police investigated two more violent incidents that involved a gunman firing shots at two men on city streets. At this time, the suspect in both shootings remains at large.
To learn more about this case, access the following article: Trenton recruiting police to ‘be part of difference’