SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WKRG) – It hasn’t been an easy two years for Summerdale Police. COVID-19 and other factors are to blame for fewer officers on the force, but things are looking up.

“The last couple of years, including COVID, it’s just been a struggle. It’s been a challenge to get people on board and get people filling out applications and being able to find good candidates,” said Summerdale Police Chief Kevin Brock.

Last week the newest hire graduated police academy, filling the final vacancy in Summerdale. With 11 officers the department is now able to provide better coverage.

“Of course we have people on day shift and night shift, but now with the extra people we’re able to put a mid shift in place where it overlaps the other two shifts so it gives us more coverage,” said Brock.

Chief Brock tells us up until now his officers have been working overtime to fill the gaps and with summer approaching the department is better prepared for the summer months.

“Traffic is always an issue so we’re out there doing what we can to keep people safe,” he added.

Aside from patrol officers, he’s also looking to bring back the department’s community outreach program that was put on hold.

“We just didn’t have the staffing for it, but they’re back in full swing. We’re planning and going to try to host some events as far as the relations unit is concerned. We’re just trying to get things back on track and I think it’s going well,” said Brock.

Even though the department has filled all of the vacant positions, Chief Brock urges anyone who might be looking to become a law enforcement officer to apply in case another position becomes available.