MADISON, Neb. -- Throughout the state of Nebraska, sheriff’s offices and police departments have dealt with the same issue: bringing in new recruits. According to, there are only 1,080 sworn deputies and sheriffs in the state of Nebraska, and 2,198 full-time sworn officers in state police departments. 

“You know, it is across the state and pretty much across the nation,” Madison County Sheriff Todd Volk said. “Let’s just stay in Nebraska here, I mean this year down in Lincoln, they passed a bill for law enforcement; The Attraction and Retention Act.”   

Volk believes it is a culture issue that is contributing to the shortage, and how cops are portrayed by U.S. officials. 

“A lot of it has been cultural over the years,” Volk said. “We had a president, several presidents ago, call us basically all a bunch of fools and did some things that didn’t sit well with me. Those kids grew up with that type of mentality.”  

Volk had nothing but praise for the county he has been serving for most of his life. 

“To be honest with you, I am in my 29th year I believe it is,” Volk said. “It has been a very fulfilling job.”

There are certain tricks of the trade that law enforcement can do to engage with the community and become more personable.

“That’s the biggest thing is reaching out, you know, and being known to the public,” Volk said. “I mean, that is the biggest thing, is showing everybody we are human beings, we do our jobs just like everybody else and we work hard to do it.” 

One of the main challenges with rural police departments and law enforcement is keeping up with modern technology. Volk said that his department in Madison County is making major advancements towards the future capability of being efficient.

“We are progressive, we have a lot of the great tools, drones and everything like that so you are going to be able to work with a whole lot of different things as a deputy sheriff or even as a jailer,” Volk said. “We work to be very hard, previous sheriff and myself, to be on the cutting edge of technologies.”

Volk then explains how beneficial the jobs are for anyone interested in joining law enforcement and the many adventures that come with it. 

“Madison County is a great place to live work and the service that you can do either in the jail, on patrol, or on the criminal side is so beneficial,” Volk said. “There are so many different things we get to see and do and different people we get to meet, and a great percentage of the time, you are having fun doing it too.” 

As demonstrated by Volk, law enforcement can be a lifelong career for anyone interested.