Violence against police creates new challenges hiring officers

West Melbourne police looking for new recruits

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – With deadly shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, some people might think it's a horrible time to get into law enforcement.  West Melbourne police, however, say it's the perfect time to join the force.

A West Melbourne PD YouTube video shows how police would like an applicant to envision a career in law enforcement.

But recent national attacks on police, are swaying popular opinion.

Officer Harvey Whitney knows.

He's a third-generation cop, a husband and a father of three, trying to shield his young children from recent headlines of violence and unrest.

"I've had over 100 years of family members in law enforcement," said Whitney.

The six-year veteran of West Melbourne PD told News 6 speaking about his wife, "This is the first time in 16 years that she tells me that she consistently worries. I don't want my children to be constantly worried about daddy. I want them to be proud that daddy's going out to help the next guy because I'm a hero in their eyes."

New heroes are constantly being sought by West Melbourne police, but this summer they have challenges.

Capt. Rich Cordeau hesitated to answer when News 6 asked if right now is a bad time to be a cop.
He replied, "This is a job that has always required you to be very vigilant."

Cordeau is also not quick to judge if a strain on police/community relations nationwide is making it difficult to find new officers.

But the department does say in troubling times like these, officers need the cream of the crop to wear their badge.

"Right now would be a great time for young individuals to come and get involved into a profession that is a very, very rewarding profession during a time that's hard," said Whitney.

"Certain young individuals might see this as an opportunity to say, 'I want to be involved and prove that law enforcement is a very highly-respected profession.'"

If you would like to become a West Melbourne police officer, visit the city's website, WestMelbourne.org, and fill out a preliminary application.

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