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Paradise Police Department talks about recruiting challenges in the new normal

The Paradise Police Department is looking to hire officers, but with much of the town destroyed by the Camp Fire, recruiting doesn't come without its challenges.

Posted: Jul 31, 2019 10:49 PM

PARADISE, Calif. -- The Paradise Police Department is looking to hire officers, but with much of the town destroyed by the Camp Fire, recruiting doesn't come without its challenges.

With the town facing its new normal and a much smaller population, it forces potential new hires to consider the landscape they'd be policing.

23-year-old Dominic Vannucci is the latest officer to be hired at the Paradise Police Department.

Vannucci was offered the job just before the Camp Fire and he has strong connections to the town.

"I was born and raised here so this, this is my home," Vannucci said. 

But the Camp Fire changed the landscape of the town he grew up in, forcing him to face some serious questions about his future.

"I think the greatest challenge was stability, whether this department was going to continue to be a department after the fire," Vannucci said.

Officer Vannucci wasn't able to find a place in Paradise to stay, a challenge new hires might also face.

"Finding a place in Chico is extremely hard, so I've been looking, but it's posed its challenge," Vannucci said.

The Town of Paradise just approved a hiring incentive for the police department, allowing them to hire at least three experienced officers.

For a variety of reasons due to the Camp Fire, seven police officers have left the department since January 1st. The day to day duties have changed, with officers investing themselves into the community, welcoming back the people who do return.

"Their support alone is the thing that drives these officers," Vannucci said.

As of January first, the Paradise Police Department currently has 13 officers.

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Heavy rain and snow has returned to Northern California. Gusty south winds are ahead for Friday night and Saturday. The potential for thunderstorms and a Flash Flood Watch are also on the way.
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