WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Winston-Salem Police Department’s current Basic Law Enforcement Training class is the smallest in recent memory. However, it would have even fewer recruits if it weren’t for a trip 600 miles north.
“For us to actually fill this class, or to get this class going, we needed those applicants from New York,” said Sgt. R.B. Readus, of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Last fall, Readus embarked on a recruiting trip to Long Island, New York, in the hope of finding new recruits. As a result, six of the 16 recruits in their current class moved down the east coast to Winston-Salem.
“Coming in strong headed, getting ready to take on the world,” said Joshua Crowley, a current trainee and 22-year-old Long Island native.
“Sgt. Readus was there, talked to him for a few minutes, really got me really interested down here,” Crowley said.
The current class started on Feb. 13 and will graduate on Sept. 1.
“It’s like one big family instead of just six people and the other 10,” Crowley said.
With the trip a proven success, the department plans to return to Long Island in the fall.
“It’s gonna help us when we go back to New York this fall, to continue to sell our agency and the good things that we have,” Readus said.
In the meantime, there are potential recruits who met with the WSPD representatives during their last trip, who either were too young or still in school and were unable to participate in the department’s current class.
“About 45 to 50 percent of our fall class we’re projecting to be New York students,” Readus said.
The Winston-Salem Police Department currently has about 50 officer vacancies.