FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fewer people are applying to work as police officers for the Fort Bend Independent School District, the district's police chief told reporter Grace White in a one-on-one interview.
Chief David Rider said a year ago, they were getting 100 applications for every job posted. Now it's less than 20.
"I think after COVID, I think a number of people have found a way to make a living staying home for one," Chief Rider said. "I also think there’s been a lot of scrutiny on police and Uvalde was a tragedy."
The district is doing what it can to entice new talent.
The starting salary as a police officer for FBISD is $51,452. The board recently approved $1,000 signing bonuses for those who are offered a job.
“I’m hoping we can attract people and train them the right way, where they are not afraid to make a decision but also they are confident in their abilities and our community is confident that we are training them the right way," the chief said.
The FBISD police force has been recognized by the Texas Police Chief's Association. It is one of only five ISD police departments in the state to receive the honor.
Chief Rider is hoping this recognition is something that will attract more applicants.
The FBISD Police Department has some openings they are looking to fill right away.
“We have five vacancies right now and out of 75, that doesn’t sound like a lot but every officer counts for us," Chief Rider said.
The chief also said there are no officers staffed at any of the 54 FBISD elementary campuses. He said there are two at every high school, one at every middle school but not at the elementary campuses.
He said to put officers at every elementary school would nearly double the department and that takes funding.
To read more about open positions in Fort Bend ISD, click here.