Atlanta police seeing progress in recruitment despite ‘challenges’

ATLANTA — This Saturday, the Atlanta Police Department will be out in full force hosting a recruiting event at the Lenox Square Mall.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden spoke with Atlanta’s Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum about the challenges of hiring officers at a time when public opinion about the job has changed and violent crime continues to rise.

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“We have a wonderful culture that only Atlanta can offer,” Schierbaum said.

Schierbaum says hiring new officers has been a challenge for police departments across the country, but tonight, he tells me that he is encouraged and pleased with the recent progress that his department is making as his team continues to recruit new officers from not only here in Metro Atlanta, but also across the U.S.

“Individuals that believe in constitutional policing. People that are committed to service. People that are competent in their craft and they have a compassion heart to serve the citizens,” he said.

One of the newest recruits to join the police force is Charisse Hill. The 36-year-old moved here from New Jersey earlier this year.


From the pandemic to anti-police movements, Hill, like many of her fellow recruits, are aware of the criticism, but she refuses to let it ruin her dreams of becoming a deputy chief.

“I believe that in law enforcement that you bring who you are, your values and your morals to your job every single day and as long as that’s in good standing, you should be able represent your badge to the best of your ability,” Hill said.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens says he plans to add 250 new officers by the end of the year. So far, 140 recruits have enrolled in the academy but there is still more work that needs to be done according to the APD.

There are a little more than 1,600 officers including recruits but the APD has been authorized to hire more than 2,000.

When it comes to pay, officers start at $48,500; that’s why the department is now offering incentives, including hiring bonuses, free housing and tuition reimbursement.

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If you’re interested in joining the Atlanta Police Department, you can meet with recruiters this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lenox Square Mall. Recruiters will be set up outside Pottery Barn.