Nov 12, 2015 7:23 PM

NH1 News Investigates Finding Recruits: Largest city's police department search to fill officer positions

MANCHESTER - "These are some brave, brave individuals out there. We have brave officers in the state of New Hampshire," said Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard.

But Manchester's chief said that's not enough - at least not in Manchester. The Queen City battles drugs and drug-related crimes every day and they need more officers to help in the fight.

"Crime reduction is number one. The more officers I have out there, are going to help achieve that," said Willard.

It is easier said than done.

Manchester Police are facing two issues: open positions and retirements.

Currently, out of 237 officer positions, 21 are open, that is close to 9 percent.

Finding recruits like Officer William Regan, has not been easy. Of the 158 people who signed up to take the last police test last month, only five were hired.

Some of the challenges are applicants not clearing the background check or the one-on-one interviews.

Also, Manchester's Police officers are still working without a contract and there is a lot of debate over pension benefits.

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