LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Little Rock Police Department has only four more days to find 65 new officers. Despite that looming deadline, few of those officers will make it on the street this year.
Right now, the Little Rock Police Department wants to hire thirty new officers for its first recruiting class of the year.
With four murders in Little Rock in the first ten days of the year, the police force has its hands full. The added sales tax revenue will allow the department to beef up.
"We'll also be able to change our deployment and place our officers in areas where we've been wanting to be a long time," says Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas.
Several business owners we talked with Wednesday want to see more officers patrolling the streets to keep their employees and customers safer.
"There are quite a few surly characters walking up and down the road that we see," says Adam Grubbs.
And, that is why the tattooists at Psychodelic Butterfly welcome new patrol officers.
"I think it would make people think twice before trying to start any trouble," adds Grubbs.
Lieutenant Terry Hastings says the first recruits hit the streets after a six month training class. Then, they'll pair up with a training officer for three months before going solo around the first of next year.
For Hastings, a 36-year veteran of the force, he can't picture himself doing anything else.
"It's something that interested me when I was young, and then when my older brother got into it, I just kind of followed his footsteps and found it to be a very, very rewarding career. Very fulfilling," he says.
Little Rock police hope the starting salary of $38,000, one of the highest in the state, can attract a strong group of applicants by Sunday's 11:59 p.m. deadline.