ST. LOUIS — Atlanta police, attempting to recruit officers from St. Louis, faced challenges this weekend as they conducted interviews. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Atlanta recruiters saw just over half a dozen individuals at their hiring event yesterday, with several turning out to be questionable candidates. These candidates couldn’t pass background checks, lack proper paperwork, or have other issues. 

This situation has raised concerns in the St. Louis region, where the police department is grappling with severe staffing shortages. Mayor Tishara Jones reportedly texted the mayor of Atlanta last week, expressing her concerns and saying, “Hey, stop poaching our people.”  

Mayor Andre Dickens claims he was unaware that his department was actively recruiting in other cities. The St. Louis Police Department currently has a vacancy rate of about 28%, further complicating the situation. 

Adding to the complexity, an Atlanta Police Sergeant mentioned successful recruiting efforts in places like New York and Florida. However, specific details about these successful recruitments were not provided. 

As St. Louis continues to grapple with staffing challenges, the situation highlights the broader issue of cities competing for law enforcement personnel in a time of nationwide shortages.