GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Groton police have stepped up their efforts to recruit more officers, telecommunicators and dispatchers.

Full staff is around 67 in Groton and they are still a few good men and women short of that number.

“Across the nation, everybody’s kind of struggling in law enforcement as far as getting their numbers and keeping them up,” said Captain Greg McCarthy with Groton Police.

Groton did not lose any officers after the death of George Floyd in 2020 and the civil unrest that followed but it did see a drop in the number of people applying to the force.

“We needed to put something out to show ‘hey, we’re proud of our job.” We’re proud of our community and we’re close with our community,” McCarthy said.

Before someone can climb into a patrol car as a new officer, they first have to pass an entrance exam, a background check and an agility test. They also have to go through several interviews including one with the chief before they are even hired. After that, they have to go to the police academy and through other training.

The department has already added to its ranks, including the first bilingual dispatcher and a few new police recruits, but it is hoping to attract more applicants.

“We look for someone who is personable, who can think on their feet. Being able to speak to people is very valuable these days,” McCarthy said. “I hope they see that law enforcement is still a noble profession and it’s still needed.”