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Attorney General Josh Stein Visits Western North Carolina to Highlight Solutions to the Law Enforcement Shortage

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today visited western North Carolina to highlight his plan to address law enforcement officer shortages. Speaking at the State Crime Laboratory’s western campus, Attorney General Stein was joined by other law enforcement leaders and detailed initiatives that would help recruit and retain officers across the state.

“Law enforcement leaders in western North Carolina have long been vocal about the challenges they face in trying to recruit and keep and talented officers,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m glad to be with them today to discuss concrete solutions that will help us get and keep the right officers on the job and make our communities safer.”

“Now, more than ever, North Carolina needs, and deserves, dedicated professionals with staunch integrity to protect and serve its communities,” said Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin. “To attract and retain these professionals, North Carolina must appreciate and support the men and women who answer the calling to become law enforcement professionals. This support must include incentives which appeal to the professional law enforcement officers North Carolinians so richly deserve.”

Attorney General Stein’s plan includes the following proposals:

  1. Offer law enforcement hiring bonuses to out-of-state officers and military veterans.
  2. Launch a public awareness and out-of-state recruiting campaign.
  3. Stop the pension penalty so that retired officers can continue to work.
  4. Incentivize further education and training for officers.
  5. Offer mental health and wellness resources.
  6. Expand the Criminal Justice Fellows program to all 100 counties.

More details on Attorney General Stein’s proposals can be found here.

Attorney General Stein’s efforts to address the law enforcement staffing shortage are part of his broader efforts to improve public safety in North Carolina. Attorney General Stein’s public safety proposals, which include strategies for combatting drugs, commonsense gun safety measures, and more are described here.