Gwinnett police turn to upstate New York to recruit officers

Upcoming Gwinnett County Police Department recruiting events

Sept. 28: Georgia Southern University; noon to 4 p.m.

Oct. 4: North Carolina Central University; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oct. 5: South Carolina State University; 9 a.m. to noon

Oct. 5: Marine Corps Base Camp, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 11: North Georgia College and State University (Dahlonega campus); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 12: The Citadel; 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Oct. 19: Savannah State University; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nov. 1: Moody Air Force Base; 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 3: Georgia Southern University; 2 to 4 p.m.

Nov. 8: North Georgia College and State University (Dahlonega campus); 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It's no secret that the Gwinnett County Police Department, like many agencies across the country, is struggling to hire and retain new officers.

Since 2011, Gwinnett County has seen a net loss of 66 officers and, just last month, chief Butch Ayers reported that his department had hired 65 officers in the previous year — but lost 75, whether it be to retirement, to better-paying city agencies or other reasons. Given the country's current climate, it's also harder to find new recruits, officials have said.

With that in mind, GCPD is expanding its recruiting efforts across the Southeast — and into upstate New York.

The department announced Friday that representatives will visit the Williamsville, New York, campus of SUNY-Erie Community College in late October, hoping to find a few good officers through an in-depth recruiting expo. They're hoping history is on their side, too -- similar efforts in the late 1990s netted several "dedicated and loyal employees," GCPD spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

One of those employees is now a corporal with the department.

"He cited milder winters, a rapidly growing metro Atlannta area, excellent job opportunities and the chance to gain invaluable experience as reasons for his move," Pihera said in a news release. "In fact, [the corporal] recalls that his police academy class was filled with more New Yorkers than Georgians when he went through the academy."

More locally, the department will also be recruiting officers at several other locations across the Southeast. Find a list of those events below and visit for more information.