NIXA, Mo.– The Nixa Police Department is looking to add two more officers to its staff. Chief Joe Campbell made the pitch to City Council after the county discovered it had additional funding thanks to the state’s cares act.
Campbell spoke with KOLR10 about the need for those two officers and the challenges with making sure they hire the people that will be in it for the right reasons.
“What we are actually looking for are people who have a heart for service,” said Campbell.
Campbell said he believes their 40 officers all fit that mold, and more could be on the way.
“We use a staffing study every year to determine how many officers we need to put on the street to answer calls for service,” said Campbell.
Their most recent study found that two more officers would help fulfill their needs. With Nixa City Council now having extra funding available, Campbell made a pitch to use some of it to add to their police force.
“It’s going to be about 130,000 to add those officers,” said Campbell
More than $83,000 will go toward salaries, and the rest for equipment and training.
But getting the money secured is only half of the equation. The other half is finding the right people is just as important.
“We have a physical and a written test. We do a very thorough background investigation,” said Campbell. “If you lower the standards for your agency, ultimately, you are going to have to deal with those issues later.”
Right now, there are some hurdles in getting applicants.
“There may be a general feeling that police work is dangerous, that they aren’t supported as they had been in the past. Officers have a lot of options. There’s a lot of openings across not only this area but across the state and across the country.”
But Campbell says there wouldn’t be any rush to hire just anyone.
“From the time we start that recruiting process, to the time that we hire a person, it could be up to six months. We are doing the things to make sure we are getting the right people in the position.
Feb. 16, the city council will vote on Campbell’s proposal to add those two officers to the force.