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Bend Police to host first-ever first responder job fair, pointing to staffing challenges faced by many agencies

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend Police)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend Police are hosting their first job fair on Saturday, and it's not just for their department but several other local agencies trying to fill vital positions -- police, medics, firefighters and others involved in community safety.

The First Responder Career Fair and Community Event is on Saturday. About 10 agencies are participating, hoping to answer questions about what they do, and encourage people to apply for openings.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Riverbend Park.

Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said Friday, We've been down a few officers for quite a while. So, this is just an opportunity for us to add to our ranks."

The department is looking to fill eight officer positions, and accepting applications for community service officers, both entry-level and lateral officer positions, as well as community relations manager and public safety technician, among other positions.

I asked Miller if the staffing shortage has affected their response time.

"I think our officers do a really good job of responding to calls for service, and it's nice to have a fully staffed team," she said.

Miller added they're holding the job fair for people who are interested in law enforcement, so they have an opportunity to see what it's all about.

The Black Butte Ranch Police Department is no longer participating in the event, since they are experiencing a staffing shortage.

There are currently six full-time officers and one part-time, non-sworn community service officer working for the department. It's looking to fill a seventh full-time officer position. Administrative Manager Jessica Rich said it's a lateral opening that was posted on Sept. 14.

Bend Fire & Rescue will have an interactive ladder truck on site, and Bend Police are setting up an Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT) course.

"We're going to have a motorcycle cop down there, a drone operator to show how we use drones in law enforcement, as well as a SWAT vehicle," she said.

AirLink will also be there with a helicopter.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics
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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.

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