LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Little Rock police are looking for more potential recruits.
Applicants are down nationwide.
Within LRPD, they are getting about half the applicants they are used to.
A Little Rock police recruitment class is learning what it takes to be a police officer.
These recruits will graduate at the end of January and begin the next phase of training.
“It’s been very challenging but very educational,” says LRPD recruit Babe Cook.
Cook is just one of a handful of soon-to-be police officers on the street. Police are looking for many more, but the applications are down. Not as many people are applying as before.
“Nationally, recruitment has shrunk for this career choice,” says Sgt. DeWana Phillips with Little Rock Police. “Our numbers are down about half.”
The applications for the next recruit class is due January 10. People that may be interested have to complete a physical test, writing test, background check, a formal interview and more.
“We need to know that we have a solid police officer that’s going to protect and serve our communities,” says Sgt. Phillips.
LRPD says they are looking for the best candidate to enter into the next phase.
“Rookie school, the recruitment school for the Little Rock Police Department, is 24 weeks,” Sgt. Phillips explains. “Twenty-four weeks for a career you’re going to build and spend 20-30 years in just seems like a short time.”
Police say they are looking for diversity among the force; however, right now they are seeing fewer white women applying.
“I think that Little Rock does a great job at having the diversity,” Cook says. “They have everyone you could possibly imagine. Every size, every color, gender.”
You can apply online at buildabetterblue.org.
Police say if you are looking for a new job that starts tomorrow, becoming a police officer may not be for you.
It takes about seven months from when the application is due to starting rookie school.