Two months after Philadelphia’s City Council passed a bill allowing the city to hire nonresidents, the pool of applicants who want to be police officers more than doubled, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The city personnel department said that 4,967 applicants took the recruit exam May 31, a 134 percent increase over a year ago. Of the people who applied to take the exam, 39 percent were non-residents.
Commanders greeted the explosion of job-seekers with glee after watching the pool of applicants shrink. Officials here were particularly irked that police departments from New York and other jurisdictions frequently visited Philadelphia to seek criminal-justice majors at Temple University and other local colleges, many of whom were off-limits to city police because of the residency restrictions. The large pool of applicants bodes well for Mayor Michael Nutter, who has promised to add 500 officers to the 6,700-member force in three years. Nutter pushed to get rid of the requirement that new employees must be city residents for at least one year. New hires still must move into the city within six months. The number of applicants from outside the city is a concern to the Guardian Civic League, which represents minority police officers.