Baton Rouge, LA. – Governor Jeff Landry signed an executive order declaring a State of Emergency due to the police officer shortage across Louisiana. The Louisiana Sheriff’s Association estimates that Louisiana sheriffs’ offices were down approximately 1,800 deputies statewide resulting in record-low employment and an increase in response time.

“We applaud Governor Landry for highlighting the importance of the law enforcement profession and our state’s desperate need to fill valuable front line deputy positions,” said Michael Ranatza, Executive Director, Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association.

“As a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy, I understand the vital role our law enforcement officers play in our communities. Currently, our state is facing a shortage of officers, resulting in increased crime and less public safety. Today’s executive order, and the upcoming crime special session, will ensure our law enforcement officers are supported and we can begin to bring law and order back to our state,” said Governor Jeff Landry.

Dr. Travis Yates originally spoke out about the recruitment and retention crisis in 2020 with an article titled, America We Are Leaving. and explained the situation further to Tucker Carlson at the time.

We reached out to Yates about the situation in Louisiana and he told us that the issue is much deeper than one state.

“While I applaud Governor Landry for taking this stand, frankly our profession has had their head in the sand for far too long,” Yates said.

Yates said a combination of factors led him to understanding the pending crisis a decade ago, that included the 100,000 cops hired in the 1990’s from the 1994 Crime Bill that were retiring along with the failure of leaders to defend the profession but that until recently, few paid attention to what he was saying.

“This should have never gotten to the point it is today but now that we are here, our leaders need to be on point with the next decision they make,” exclaimed Yates.

While Yates speaks nationally on law enforcement leadership and the role it plays in recruiting and retention, he said that there is a serious component that most are ignoring.

The answer by many agencies, according to Yates, is to simply throw money at the issue, telling us that “whether it’s raises, bonuses or fancy websites and videos, none of that is a long term solution to the issue.”

Yates says that there are only two decisions a leader can make if they ever hope to correct this crisis, telling us that we must lead our agencies in the spirit of humility and support towards those carrying the badge and we must understand what actual police recruiting is.

According to Yates, the profession has never had to recruit as we traditionally had more applicants than openings but once that goes away, real recruiting must occur.

Despite the need, Yates said that he typically sees an agency paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a website and a video along with a marketing promise to recruit but that has never worked for recruiting and it never will.

“We aren’t selling anything and our marketing efforts will never compete with the hatred against our profession that are coming from every angle but recruiting will work,” Yates said.

The problem is that few agencies understand the expertise and detail that go into recruiting.

Yates is not shy when he talks about SAFEGUARD Recruiting. The only recruiting company dedicated solely to first responders, Yates said the proof is in their success.

This is simple, according to Yates, who has volunteered his time with SAFEGUARD to discuss leadership in their recruiting seminars.

“Call up SAFEGUARD Recruiting and tell them how many applicants you need and they will send them to you,” Yates exclaimed.

Yates is the author of “The Courageous Police Leader,” and he has filmed a series of training videos on the subject but he says that agencies have been very slow to actually do what it takes and he is hopeful that Louisiana will take the approach needed.

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