During The lawyer’s annual City state town hall, held March 8, city and county officials briefed listeners on current issues and expectations for the coming year. Among those in attendance were Corvallis Police Chief Nick Hurley and Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall, who both spoke about the staffing shortages the two departments are currently facing.

“I know I’m not the only one, but law enforcement has been affected by the understaffing,” Hurley said. “Trying to recruit and retain quality men and women who want to serve the Corvallis community as a law enforcement officer becomes much more difficult. This leads to exhaustion and burnout of our staff.

“While we are a very safe community, we are not immune to some of the criminal acts of violence that we see nationally and what we see on the news from our neighbors north and south of us,” Hurley said.

The two speakers discussed recruitment efforts to strengthen their departments.

“We’re having a hard time, really having a hard time finding good, qualified people similar to the police department,” Arsdall said. “As we get to the other side of this pandemic, I can have a citizen academy where we can expose people to what we do and then move on to the next phase.”

By: Jennifer Williams