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Springfield Police Relax Pot, Tattoo Rules To Snare Recruits

KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Springfield police have relaxed policies on marijuana and tattoos to bolster recruiting and fill vacancies.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams told the City Council this week that he has 38 vacancies on his force after only 203 people applied last year to be officers, down from 500 in a typical year. That led to back-to-back academy classes with several open seats. Williams blamed the coronavirus for making in-person recruiting a challenge and said high-profile events like the George Floyd murder had cast a negative outlook on policing.