GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Brown County reports that it’s experiencing a shortage of law enforcement employees so it held its first-ever public safety career and job fair and despite hiring challenges in law enforcement new applicants hope to make an impact.

Brown County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jody Lemmens says, “We wanted to make it easy for people to one-stop-shop, take a look at what openings are available in the public safety field.”

Captain Lemmens has nearly 22 years of service with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, which gives her an advantage in making sure Brown County hires the most qualified applicants at its Public Safety Career Job Fair.

“The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is here both patrol and corrections. We’ve got the 911 Dispatch Center, County Rescue. We’ve also got a couple of area tow truck companies. We’ve got a Brown County Community Treatment Center here, so a wide variety of public safety professionals. Anything that you’re doing in public safety is serving the greater good of the community. It’s all our job to make sure that our community stays safe,” Lemmens says.

Police shootings and police reform make it challenging to recruit but hasn’t swayed potential new hires.

Lemmens says, “The profession of law enforcement we’ve had a tough year. Our numbers for patrol we really haven’t seen a significant difference but it is a tough time to get into law enforcement.”

Michael Lynch will soon graduate from Fox Valley Tech’s law enforcement program and he visited the job fair in hopes of becoming a patrol officer.

Lynch says, “Ever since I was little I was always interested in helping people.

Jessica Miranda graduated from a law enforcement program in November of 2020 and also has hopes to have a career in law enforcement.

Miranda says, “I’ve always wanted to be a police officer.”

Where some see problems with law enforcement, these applicants want to become part of the solution.

Miranda says, “There weren’t many Hispanic Latinas who are in the police so that kind of inspired me to continue my career, because the Spanish language is not very common.”

Lynch says, “I want to help the community and build a stronger relationship between the community and the department so we can both have a safer and happier future.”

Lemmens says, “I didn’t just want to work for a paycheck. I wanted to feel like I was part of something bigger. I’ve had a lot of career satisfaction.”

The public safety agencies that participated in this job fair hope to obtain a large enough qualified applicant pool to hire from.