Winston-Salem PD recruiting committed servants

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem Police Department announced in a press conference on Friday the need for more officers due to an increased number of crimes in the city.

Winston-Salem Police Chief Scott Cunningham said he wants committed men and women that are willing to serve the community to join the upcoming police academy class in September.

"We need these people because we have a problem with crime," Cunningham said at July's public safety press conference.

Winston-Salem's overall crime is up 1.8% over this same time in 2011.

"Despite the risks, there are always people who are willing to step-up and help the people of Winston-Salem," Cunningham said.

Officer Ashley Shurtleff joined the department less than a year ago and has patrolled Winston-Salem's east-side. She says she likes it better than any desk job.

"You never know what you're going to get. Every day is different. You get to interact with people," Shurtleff said.

Shurtleff chose WSPD because the department offers a take-home car for officers that live within Forsyth County limits and offers two retirement pensions.

Even though WSPD starting salary is less than some departments, Shurtleff said that doesn't bother her.

"You're not going to do this job for the money in the first place. It's definitely not one of the most high-paying professions," Shurtleff said.

Shurtleff and Chief Cunningham agree police work is not a job for someone looking for a fallback job or a source of temporary income.

"You have to really love this job to do it on a daily basis," said Shurtleff.