It’s the Police Force society deserves in some aspects, so you are telling me that those that join havent done due diligence in speaking to serving officers, thought it was going to be all thief taking and medals?
If it’s as bad as you say why is there a waiting list for those wishing to do it for free? All the same issues with out the as you suggest mediocre money?
You cannot replicate the job, by going out on an observer shift, which is mandatory whilst applying or chatting to someone for a couple of hours, when you are dead set on joining and caught up in it all.
In fact for the first few years, those things are actually quite exciting but ultimately unsustainable and what you come to hate in the job. A decade ago, you could swap roles and have a relative break in a project team or a specialist post, those jobs were cut during austerity and everyone was permanently frontline and shift working unless you were temporarily restricted through injury.
People watch the tv and like those aspiring to join the military are willing to a certain extent to accept the pay and conditions in order to do the job they think it’s going to be.
Then reality sets in and it’s decision time. Recruitment might not be an issue at the moment, however the majority joining are kids with no life skills or experience, as opposed to older people willing to take a pay cut, however retention it definitely becoming a problem.