The understaffed Houston Police Department, seeking to hire another 500 officers by 2010, is sending recruiters to five shopping malls every Saturday this month n hopes of persuading some shoppers to sign up, reports the Houston Chronicle. Flanked by a continuous video of Houston police training – featuring photos of officers and recruits from various ethnic groups – a recruiter in one mall passed out brochures and took down the names of interested passers-by.
At other times of the year, recruiters will visit colleges and high schools and anywhere else people gather. “We even go to gyms and 24-Hour Fitnesses,” said a recruiter. “We’ll hit them hard after New Year’s, when people are making good on their resolutions.”