After a year of police officers being demonized at every turn, police academies across the country are facing a major recruiting drought.

“What I heard from people that were contemplating getting into law enforcement . . . was that we don’t feel like there’s support for law enforcement right now,” Scott Berger, the coordinator of the program at Alexandria Technical & Community College, told The National Review.

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He went on to describe the climate that came about last summer as a “transition time where everything in the news was bad news: All cops are bad, they’re not trained, they don’t know how to handle stressful situations or high-risk situations, which is just not true across the board.”

“All they were hearing and what we were hearing from them was bad news. It’s like, ‘I don’t even know if I really want to do this.’ And we started noticing that our enrollment numbers were going down,” he said of potential recruits.

Berger explained that he had seen a noticeable drop in enrollment in the school’s law-enforcement programs. The law enforcement enrollment numbers at Alexandria Tech have been going down since at least the fiscal year 2017 when 401 students attended the policing programs. This number declined to 349 in fiscal 2020 and 302 in fiscal 2021.

Berger added that Alexandria Tech had only 117 freshmen starting the policing program at the start of the fall semester, whereas they would normally have 140 to 180.

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Jerry Granderson, director of the Oregon Public Safety Academy, said that he has also seen a drop in law enforcement enrollment, saying that this could be “a function of multiple variants,” including pay. However, he admitted that one of the other variants is that “individuals may not want to come into this profession given the current social context.”

Granderson said that he believes law enforcement leaders need to do a better job selling the profession to potential officers.

“The bottom line here is, that message needs to be sent out that, listen, American people, we’ve heard, we’ve seen, we’ve adjusted,” he continued. “Please come into this sacred profession.”

Berger then acknowledged that law enforcement has historically not done the best job marketing itself.

“Because we really, for a long time, never had to,” he said. “I mean, there were tons of candidates, and they were coming in, and new programs were getting started across the state. Everything was just wonderful and warm and fuzzy. And then, all of a sudden, the numbers start to go down, and agencies are saying, ‘Wait a minute, we don’t have enough candidates.'”

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“Throughout history, our best recruiters are our past graduates,” Berger added. “Parents, kids, whatever, come up to them and say, ‘Hey, I want to go into law enforcement, what do you think?’ And they’d say, ‘Great job. If you’re going to go to school, go to Alexandria.'”

However, Berger said that he’s hearing officers give a different message these days.

“They’re in favor of the profession, but they’re also realists,” he said. “So they look at it and say, ‘You know what, great job, great profession. You might want to just hold off for now.'”

This happens when a society demonizes police to the point that leftists have over the past year. No wonder nobody wants to be a police officer anymore, as it’s not worth it to put your life on the line every day to protect a society that will respond by just demonizing you.