Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is hoping to attract “second-career professionals” with job experience that doesn’t necessarily involve wearing a badge, says the Chicago Tribune. About 8,600 people showed up Saturday to take the exam for new officers. The last recruiting drive in 2006 brought about 8,000 to the initial test. There are about 1,100 vacant positions, but Weis does not expect to be able to hire that many officers.
Weis suggested the higher number of applicants could be attributed to the promise of a secure, decently compensated position and a rewarding career in a demoralizing job market. People in some professions have to question their contribution to society. “A police officer never has that problem,” he said. City officials have said they were hoping to recruit more mature and technically skilled officers, and the minimum age for nonmilitary applicants was raised from 21 to 25, though those younger than 25 could still apply but can’t be hired until they are 25. Military veterans can be hired at 21. Saturday’s event was designed to build an applicant pool to last a few years and a few rounds of hiring. Weis said the department hoped to draw technically savvy applicants, though he said they are not seeking officers who want to “sit behind a computer and talk in a chat room.” He wants well-rounded officers.