MOLINE, Ill. — Law enforcement agencies across Illinois and Iowa came together for a job fair at Vibrant Arena in Moline.
The March 15, 2023 ILFOP Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair was the first one hosted by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.
35 departments from across Iowa and Illinois attended the event.
"We have state agencies, local and area sheriff's departments... county level and municipal level departments as well," ILFOP District 12 trustee Daniel Crippen said, who organized the fair.
In addition to police departments, federal prisons, college safety departments, and 911 operations also paid a visit.
Crippen believes in the job field's opportunities and benefits.
"It's a great profession. There's lots of different opportunities, lots of room for advancement... there's lots of money available, these places are paying very good money, lots of good benefits," Crippen said.
However, Crippen said that halfway through the job fair, only about a dozen people had visited.
"I don't think the love of the job is there anymore — a lot of the things that have gone on in the world too," he said.
Crippen expressed worries about acts of police misconduct across the nation.
"The mistakes, the issues that one agency or people do throughout the United States - it affects all of us," he said. "When one person or two people or five people make a mistake, the rest of us pay the price and I think that it brings harm to our profession."
However, that didn't stop some people from coming to the fair.
"I'm kind of bouncing back between a few jobs here and there - it's not something that I quite enjoy," attendee Phelps Bohlman said. "I'm looking for something more stable and long-term, and I thought this would be a great place to stop by and check out."
Bohlman said he hopes to bring some change if he finds a position.
"The reputation now these days that police get isn't very good," he said. "Being a police officer is something I'd be proud of, and I'd want people to understand that they're trying to make a difference and do something good for their community."
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