VALDOSTA. Ga. (WTXL) - The Valdosta Police Chief has declared that its 'open season' for law enforcement and this is in turn effecting recruitment.
The chief saying there needs to be change in the way that law enforcement is viewed, otherwise agencies will continue to see a decline in those wanting to wear the badge.
He stressed it's an issue the entire career field is facing and it's even worse in the south because the pay is lower compared to the rest of the country.
Childress said that he believes agencies are seeing a decline in recruitment due to the recent national scrutiny of law enforcement combined with pay.
Childress also said that he doesn't believe police officers are always right or always wrong and that he prides his agency on taking ownership and always being open with the public.
"Apart of leading is telling people the truth even when it hurt. When my officers are right, I'm going to say they're right and if people don't like that I don't really care," said Childress. "The truth is the truth...on the other hand if they're wrong, that's what I think the community needs to see from us. coming out and saying look we dropped the ball."
Childress said he believes the only way to change the public's perspective of the force - is to encourage more accreditation amongst agencies.
VPD currently undergoes a variety of accreditations that Childress says keep the departments transparency and credibility in tact.
Coming up this Saturday, there will be open testing sessions for anyone interested in a job with the department.
Formerly invitation only, the testing sessions are now open to the public.