Dayton Police Director Julian K. Davis would like local health organizations to help whip recruits into shape, reports the Dayton Daily News. “The people we’re recruiting now are out of shape. They are not physically fit,” Davis said. “The candidates are there, but we have to develop strategies that will help the candidates fit the job.” Of 120 police recruit applications received by the city in August, 22 applicants ended up passing a physical exam. Davis suggested that the city give applicants memberships in health clubs and encourage them to apply again. “That’s a win-win for everybody,” Davis said of the idea he got after attending a federal Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) seminar.
Police departments around the nation are aggressively recruiting job candidates, squeezed by retirements of baby boomers and competition from higher-paying private jobs and federal law enforcement. Some police agencies are showing in theaters recruiting ads designed to look like movie previews “Everybody’s getting into branding their police department to separate it from their competitors,” said Jason Abend of the National Law Enforcement Recruiters Association. The Los Angeles police department hired a public relations firm to produce three movie trailers, fictional accounts of a day in the life of two patrol officers.