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Police academy applications struggle

With its August 6th deadline looming, applications for Niagara County's newest police officers falls hundreds below threshold.
Posted at 11:19 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 07:59:36-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW)  — Every two years, the Niagara County Police Department opens applications for new officers to replace those who have moved on from the force.

Typically, they expect over 500 applications. Those officers will then undergo both physical and written tests - with the highest scoring applicants becoming the newest members of the force.

The last day to apply is August 6th - but the police department is suffering a severe lack of interest.

"Over the last year and a half, its been a rough ride for law enforcement. There’s been a lot of attention on us, and its' because of the actions of a few bad police officers," said Michael Filicetti, the Niagara County Police Department Sheriff.

"I readily admit, are there bad police officers out there? Yes, but we do a lot of good in the community," he added.

Filicetti believes that the recent incidents of police brutality, especially against minority communities, has affected the interest in the police force. He says that some are scared to apply.

"We have to make some common sense decisions in this state. That's what it boils down too,” he said.

To combat harsh perceptions of police officers, the Niagara County Sheriff's office and Police Department will be hosting an event to answer questions about the job and any concerns.

The event will occur this Saturday, July 31st, from 1-3pm at the Christ Redemption Tabernacle Church in Niagara Falls.