The Dallas police department has seen a spike in applications since the July 7 mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of five officers, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The department reports that it received 467 applications during the 12 days after the shooting, a 344 percent increase from the 136 reported during a similar period in June. The shooter in the July 7 attack on the officers at a Black Lives Matter protest was a man who had been upset by the shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Mn., and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. After the shooting, Dallas Police Chief David Brown called on protesters to join the force to improve it from the inside.
“It’s a shame it took a tragedy to get people to apply, but glad to see so many people willing to serve their community,” Dallas resident Ben Shaw wrote on the department’s Facebook page. The department has had to cancel police academy classes in recent months because of to lack of interest, as it struggles to recruit due to a lower starting salary than departments in other cities and towns in the area. Staring salary for Dallas officers is $44,659 each year, which Brown said is the lowest in the area. “These officers risk their lives for $40,000 a year,” he told CNN. “And this is not sustainable.”