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St. Joseph law enforcement impacted by staff shortages

The St. Joseph Law Enforcement is being impacted by shortage of employees. Sheriff Bill Puett says it's multiple reasons, but low pay and negative attitudes toward police across the country are leading causes for the shortage.

Posted: Jun 15, 2021 5:20 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2021 10:20 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) All over the country, employers are struggling to find workers.

However, here in St. Joseph, it is impacting one of the most crucial jobs. 

"We have seen a tremendous amount of people leaving the service," said Buchanan County Sheriff, Bill Puett.

"You have a couple set backs and questions, 'man do I really want to do this,' generally stay around though and kept my mind on it," said Buchanan County Deputy Sheriff, Melissa Silvestry. 

The Buchanan County Sheriff Department has around 23 open positions.

And the hunt for new recruits is proving to be difficult. 

"Working days off, they're working overtime, to make sure that we fulfill all our duties, even I have started working patrol shifts to assist the patrol division since they are short," said Puett.

With better pay elsewhere and the attitudes toward police across the country, it has made it difficult for departments nationwide to find new recruits. 

"Because of low pay, the defunding the police, the negative attitudes toward the police. I think that it's really important to understand and everyone to appreciate that we don't have that here in our community and we are very appreciative of that," said Puett.

"I know in our town we don't really see too much harsh and negative comments or anything like thrown at us, we are all just trying to back each other and do as much as we can," said Silvestry

Deputy Sheriff Melissa Silvestry has been a deputy for almost a year, and it's the little things she has experienced on the job that keeps her answering calls for help. 

"I think probably she was a 4 or 5 year old little girl, she'd came up and showed me a sticker that the sheriff had gave her some other time. And she was so happy to show me that, stuff like that makes it ok, makes it worth it," said Silvestry.

St. Joseph
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Temperatures will stay warm overnight with lows dropping into the upper 60s. Monday will be another hot and humid day, similar to Sunday, with temperatures climbing into the lower 90s. Humid conditions and high heat indices will continue into the work week. Things will quickly start to warm up even more by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits. A slightly better chance for rain will move into the area Monday morning keeping temperatures in the lower 90s. Things will quickly start to warm up again by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits.
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