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Two SWFL agencies see uptick in law enforcement job applications, bucking national trend

As calls to defund police become louder by the day, fewer people are joining the force. That is leaving positions unfilled across the nation.

However, two Southwest Florida departments are receiving dozens of applications per month. One retired deputy shows what the agencies look for in an applicant.

Steve Loyd says that becoming deputy was the best decision he’s ever made. “I wanted to help people, and help the community I loved so much,” said Loyd.

During the 30 years he was with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, he didn’t love every minute of the job.

“As a road patrol officer, you deal with lots of ugly scenes, tragic death,” he said. “I can remember responding to very young children who have passed away for some reason, those always stay with you.”

He says that those hardships don’t hold a candle to what law enforcement officers are facing now. Following the protests turning violent and calls for police reform.

“There’s a lot more publicity about the negativity of law enforcement and I think that tends to draw people to the wrong conclusion,” Loyd said.

People who have taken part in the protest say this should be a wake-up call.

“The big thing now, police brutality. But now that were shining some light on it, it’s possible to improve it.”

As departments make a changes to better serve their communities, they’re noticing another thing: fewer applications.

“It’s still a great job, it’s a passionate job,” Loyd reminds everyone.

However, Naples and Marco Island are actually seeing a spike in in applications. One, because of the weather but also their unwavering mission.

“No matter what they are going to come and help you if you find yourself in that spot,” he said.

Steve Loyd hopes even more people will find it in their hearts to help serve our community.

Correction: An earlier headline of this story incorrectly stated applications were down with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. CCSO has not yet replied for comment.

 

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Drew Hill
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