Local law enforcement struggles to recruit, citing national tensions

GRAHAM, N.C. -- Alamance County Commissioners just approved funding for 10 additional deputies for the sheriff's office, but Sheriff Terry Johnson expects it will take months to fill those positions.

"I do not feel that we'll be able to fill all those positions in the next two or three months," Johnson said. "Because the applicant pool is not like it used to be."

Johnson said the applications to the sheriff's office have dropped this year compared to last.

"Absolutely," he said. "You ask any law enforcement agency -- they'll tell you the same thing."

In Winston-Salem, FOX8 reported that officers are traveling to New York state to attempt to recruit officers.

In Burlington, police recently launched a new video marketing campaign hoping to amp up recruiting efforts.

Johnson blames the lack of applicants on the nationwide tension between some citizens and some law enforcement, and the recent protests and riots in Charlotte will likely make matters worse.

"It's certainly causing a lot of people who would've applied for these positions to look elsewhere, at other professions," Johnson said.

Despite some dislike of law enforcement by some, Johnson said he believes the vast majority of people in Alamance County are supportive.

"I don't regret one day that I've spent wearing the badge," Johnson said. "If you want to help your communities, go into law enforcement."