SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Police Department says it’s still having trouble finding enough men and women to join the force.

The department is currently down 50 officers which doesn’t include injured officers or those recently retired. Springfield Police Department is authorized to have 368 officers but only has 296 ready to go out on a scene.

Recruits make around $20 an hour which is about a two-dollar increase. Once recruits graduate they will make around $46,000 a year.

“We get in this profession to help the public,” said Greg Anders a recruitment officer for the Springfield Police Department. “We’re public servants. We don’t like the fact that we can’t properly staff our department because it’s a direct effect. I mean with fewer officers there’s more crime. There are fewer officers to be present, to be visible to hopefully prevent some crime. Definitely affects citizens of Springfield and by all means, are frustrated by that. And we are too.”

Anderson says he has seen many people apply from out of town or out of state and is hopeful that the trend will continue.