(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro met with police chiefs from across Pennsylvania where he heard a unified message.

There is a critical shortage of police officers in some Pennsylvania communities.

The shortage is especially severe in the communities around Philadelphia. Shapiro said shortages are taking place across the state.

The fear is if something isn’t done, those shortages would just continue to get worse.

“In nearly every community across Pennsylvania, I’ve heard loud and clear that we need to hire more police officers. There are not enough high quality candidates applying for vacant positions. Let me be clear, these vacancies are costing our communities,” said Josh Shapiro, (D) PA Attorney General.

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Erie’s plan is to use federal recovery funds to hire more police officers in the coming months.