Steve Hansen, assistant chief of the WSU Police Department (WSUPD) and one of the officers in charge of adding to the WSU force, said the department is experiencing some difficulty hiring because of low funding.
He said new officers are a normal addition to the department, as people leave for retirement or transfer, among other reasons.
“We had an officer leave to go take a position in the Tri-Cities area,” Hansen said.
He said it is common for WSUPD to be short-staffed or have a lot of new staff members.
“Especially in the state of Washington right now,” he said, “there’s difficulty hiring.”
Hansen said a lot of agencies are having a difficult time filling open positions in Washington because of a lack of funding. Even then, small agencies would still have vacant positions.
Hansen said most people on the force have been hired in the past year, and there is a constant cycle for hiring.
“A few years ago, we got funding to up our staffing [and we] still hadn’t filled one of those positions,” he said.