Springfield sees increase in municipal job seekers | Top news

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — In 2023, several city departments, including City Water Light and Power (CWLP), police and fire departments, said they are struggling to hold positions.

In response to staffing concerns, the Springfield City Council passed an ordinance suspending the residency requirement for city jobs. The city’s Department of Human Resources says this helps minimize the number of open jobs.

We have fewer current openings than we did last year, and we have more qualified candidates for the opening when we post those jobs,” said Nikki Baker, Director of Human Resources. “We are able to fill those positions. A little faster. .”

Springfield Fire Chief Ed Canny says since the change, the Fire Department is almost fully staffed. When the new class starts in October, the department will be at capacity.

Both the fire department and the police department have just started new recruit classes. The SPD now has 253 of 269 positions filled, leaving them at a 94% employment rate.

Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations Sara Pickford says that number will likely never reach 100 percent as officers retire or move to other departments. But, she department is finally getting to a level where they can expand some of the services they had to put on hold when staffing became a problem.

“We have ten neighborhood police officers now, which is huge for all the residents who live in those beats,” Pickford said. “We’re also trying to get our traffic team back up and running and refilling those key spots that we’ve been without for a few years.”

Pickford also said they will fill vacant detective positions, expanding the number of cases they can handle. She said Springfield is better off than other communities because most of the country is struggling to fill law enforcement positions right now.

To view job openings in the City of Springfield, click Here.

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