Police officials in several West Virginia localities say interest in law enforcement work has declined dramatically in recent years.
The officials attributed the decline to increased public scrutiny of police officers’ actions.
Kanawha County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Rutherford tells The Associated Press that more than 600 people showed up for entry-level exams in the 1990’s. Last year, the department had fewer than 200 applicants.
In Parkersburg, Police Chief Joseph Martin says the average number of applicants for a written test has dropped from about 500 in the mid-1990’s to 75 today.
Martin says officers today are expected to act perfect at all times, even when they’re off-duty.
Police officials say it’s also more difficult today to find candidates who can pass drug tests and background checks.

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