Hartford police struggling to improve enrollment after national - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford police struggling to improve enrollment after national conflicts

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Hartford police are struggling to improve enrollment following police-related conflicts in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas. (WFSB) Hartford police are struggling to improve enrollment following police-related conflicts in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas. (WFSB)

Hartford police are trying to keep job enrollment numbers up following recent tragedies involving officers.

Dallas' chief of police said earlier this week that people should get out of the protest line and put in an application to become an officer.

Deputy chief of Hartford police Brian Foley said officers are just trying to do their best.

"Every cop has to put on a uniform, get back in the cruiser and get back and do their job," said Foley.

However, the department has struggled with dropping enrollment.

"It's been a long time since we've seen the numbers of cops we'd like to see applying for the job," said Foley.

They have been working to improve enrollment, but recent events in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas have made that challenging.

"Stuff like this, the rhetoric that's going on nationally doesn't help...but what great opportunity for our critics to help their cause by sending people to be police officers," said Foley.

He also stressed that what people see in the media isn't representative of what it means to be a police officer.

Activist Cornell Lewis agreed that officers don't have it easy.

"To their credit, police have an incredibly difficult job. They have to do things they didn't have to do when I was growing up in Detroit, Michigan," said Lewis.

Lewis, who has led community gathering and protests in the Hartford area said there's been a growing divide between law enforcement and communities nationwide.

"That is making it even harder, so for them to talk about fulfilling a quota of people it might be a little harder this time around in the past years," said Lewis.

He said if police want to restore trust, there must be more transparency.

 "There has to be some acknowledgement, there has to be some honesty, and once that happens, then we can start to heal," said Lewis.

Anyone interesting in signing up to become an officer can visit this website.

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