Lynchburg Police Chief discusses challenges caused by staffing shortage

There are 27 open positions at the department

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Local law enforcement is having trouble staying staffed. The Lynchburg Police Department has 27 open positions, according to Chief Ryan Zuidema.

Zuidema said his department is experiencing increased demands and requests for services that they can’t always meet.

With a few dozen officers short, how quickly they can respond to a situation depends.

“We obviously have to prioritize the services that we provide, so certainly anything that’s a life-saving issue we’re going to make sure we get officers to immediately,” Zuidema said.

He said with fewer people comes fewer resources that they can allocate toward investigations.

A couple of cases that currently remain open out of Lynchburg include the death of 6-year-old Kingston Campbell who was shot to death while playing video games, and 12-year-old Malayshia Solomon shot and killed in February.

“We’re still actively working both of those,” Zuidema said. “We’re still working to follow up on several leads, and we still encourage the community to come forward with any information they have on either of those incidents.”

Zuidema said the job he does every day is a calling, and he’s looking for others to join his team.

“Certainly folks don’t get into this line of work to become millionaires, they certainly don’t get into this line of work because of the great work hours,” Zuidema said. “We do it because we want to serve our community, we want to stand up for those folks that can’t protect or defend themselves.”

Zuidema said the department’s open positions are entry-level. You can find more information on how to apply on the department’s website. .

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

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