Concern for police recruitment, retaining officers felt in Kansas
police departments across the U.S. are beginning to see internal protests within their own departments.
Actions of officers across the country could have a lasting impact on law enforcement in Kansas. Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis to the officer-involved shooting in Atlanta and protests across the country, there is a concern about recruitment and retaining of officers.
"Well, I've seen a lot of good people who three weeks ago were viewed as heroes because they've stuck out all the time during COVID-19 and
they're essential personnel and they continue to come to work because they believe in their communities," said Kansas State Fraternal Order of Police President Mik Shanks. "And I think that those are the exact same people that are receiving scrutiny, because of other people's actions in other states."
The Kansas State Fraternal Order of Police said there's been an inherent problem with retaining police officers for the last several years. Now, in Kansas, it's becoming more difficult to recruit officers in a climate where they face a new level of scrutiny.
"We're always scrutinized, and so that's nothing new for us," Shanks said. "
What is different, he said is the level of intensity of people trying to hold people locally responsible for issues that happen outside the area.
Shanks believes police rights and police reform can coexist.
Eyewitness News also spoke with a Wichita police recruiting officer Thursday who reports the Wichita Police Department has not seen the negative change because of the relationship the department has developed with the community.