FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga - Law Enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to fill job openings. One metro Atlanta department went outside their area to find a few good men and women, but ran up against a sheriff who said find somewhere else to recruit.
East Point Police put up a billboard, 50 miles away, in Forsyth County stating "Now Hiring. 55K".
"We're going to make fun of anyone who tries to recruit inside Forsyth County," said Sheriff Ron Freeman.
Sheriff Freeman posted a photo of the billboard on social media with a red "X" saying "Nice try" but we pay more.
"You put it in my county I'm going to say something," said Sheriff Freeman.
"I didn't realize what Forsyth Sheriff's pays, that's really good money. In the metro area, there's so much competition in terms of salary, so we're trying to go to the outer areas, see if we can do some recruiting," said East Police Chief Shawn Buchanan.
Problem is, law enforcement agencies across the country are looking for people.
"It is the toughest environment I've seen in 3 decades of law enforcement to recruit," said Sheriff Freeman.
Both law enforcement leaders blame it on more jobs in the private sector, COVID-19, and calls to defund the police.
"Defund the police was one of the worst movements in my opinion for police officers," said Chief Buchanan.
But they say there's hope on the horizon. They're starting to see a shift toward pro-law enforcement and many agencies are paying better than ever.
"Because of the shortage, its forced law enforcement as a whole to increase salaries," said Chief Buchanan.
In the meantime, the billboard banter on social media between the two agencies has paid off. Both agencies got more advertising than expected, and more applicants.
"In the week we've been advertising this and our new salaries, we've seen about 35 applicants in our applicant pool," said Sheriff Freeman.
"I'm glad it helped him, it's helped us. Whether you're a sheriff's deputy, or police officer, we all work together, we're all law enforcement," said Chief Buchanan.