AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s a hiring crisis in many fields across the Valley. Health care and restaurant staff are two of the biggest, but there is also a need for law enforcement.

Austintown Township has received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for law enforcement hiring, and they are adding two full-time officers.

“We are a small department of only 40 officers, so two officers is huge to us,” said Sgt. Valorie Delmont.

That way, Austintown can put officers on special forces like the drug task force or crisis response team, while still maintaining coverage in the township.

The department is accepting applications for a police officer with experience or a new officer.

“They need to be 21 years old, have an Ohio driver’s license and have completed or be enrolled in a police academy,” Delmont said.

Austintown will begin required testing for these new hires on February 20, so it needs to go through the applications soon and determine who to invite.

The officers who are hired will have over three more months of training on Austintown’s policies, then go on their own shift. The new officers will respond to emergencies, handle traffic calls and complaints, plus keep a watchful eye on seniors in the community.

“It feels good to be out here doing your part here in the community and taking care of people and knowing that you’re responsible for keeping everybody in this township safe,” Delmont said.

Austintown also has a group of police officers which were hired near the same time, and a group of them could be retiring soon. So, it’s a unique opportunity within the department.

“We’re about to have a huge turnover, so you’re not going to stay at the bottom very long. You’re going to be moving up,” Delmont said.

You can apply at the Austintown Police Department, 92 Ohltown Road, or go to the township website. For more information or questions, contact Sergeant Valorie Delmont at 330-799-9721 or vdelmont@austintowntwp.com.