For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today called on the North Carolina General Assembly to include more resources to support local law enforcement recruitment and retention in its final budget.
“People across our state are worried about becoming the victim of a crime,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We have to do everything in our power to keep our communities safe – and that includes making sure that there are enough well-trained law enforcement officers on the job. As they hammer out their final budget, the legislature must consider ways to recruit and retain the peace officers who protect us.”
North Carolina is experiencing a shortage of officers across the state, leading to difficulties staffing and patrolling high-traffic areas that have seen higher rates of crime. Nearly 400 crimes in downtown Raleigh were reported to the Raleigh Police Department this year, the highest in nearly a decade and up about 60 percent from the same period last year. As of June 2023, the Raleigh Police Department had more than 100 vacancies.
“My deputies, officers, and our law enforcement partners are working day and night to keep people in Wake County safe,” said Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe. “On behalf of fellow public safety members and the public, I ask all elected officials, federal, state, and local government leaders to fully invest and support police, fire, and rescue to help us get the resources we need to serve and safeguard our communities.”
“We appreciate the legislation that is being proposed that will allow us to recruit and retain public-spirited officers who keep us all safe,” said Raleigh Police Department Deputy Chief Scott Oosterhoudt. “The local and state support from our government leaders boosts morale among our employees and demonstrates a unified commitment to creating safer communities.”
Attorney General Stein has long been advocating for a budget that prioritizes North Carolinians’ safety. His proposals, which include hiring bonuses, a public awareness recruitment campaign, education fellowships, and a fix to allow retired officers to return to the job can be found here.