Seattle’s unconventional campaign to recruit new police officers in New York City has been a huge success, drawing hundreds of applicants to take the department’s entrance exam this month, the Seattle Times reports. Officials have received 750 applicants, including 163 of New York’s finest, who will take the test April 19 at New York University. The turnout is so high that the department had to quit taking applications, said officer Monique Avery, who said she had expected about 70 people to sign up for the test.
Seattle would like to hire 90 officers this year, and at least 65 each year through 2011, said police Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer. The hiring push was generated by the department’s new Neighborhood Policing plan, which changes officers’ shift hours to improve 911 response times. “People are tired of the living conditions there,” Avery said. “They’re frustrated with city government and tired of the violence. They’re tired of paying so much to live.” Starting pay for a Seattle police officer is nearly twice that of a New York police rookie. Kimerer said it’s a growing trend for police departments to advertise openings in other cities and doubts that the marketing pitch in New York will upset police officials there.