Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Police recruit numbers rising

Violence has not deterred hundreds from signing up

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        People still want to be Cincinnati police.

        Despite violence, recent anti-police sentiment and a national decline in recruit candidates, the Cincinnati Police Division's latest test is attracting steady interest.

        More than 1,500 men and women have signed up so far to take the Sept. 22 exam.

        With five weeks to go in the sign-up period, officials expect to easily pass last year's 1,650 applicants.

        “I'm not going to gloat, though,” said Sgt. Tom Waller, who leads the police division's recruiting unit.

        He fears many of those who sign up will not actually come to the downtown convention center to take the test. The show-up rate is sometimes as low as 50 percent, a problem nationally.

        In New York City last year, for example, too few people showed up to fill the number of jobs expected to be open.

        The 1,020-officer Cincinnati department continues to rely on its most common recruiting methods: newspaper, television and radio advertisements throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana; signs on Metro buses; and career fairs.

        But to combat a feared downturn in interest because of the April unrest, recruiters expanded the sign-up period from six to 10 weeks, and put the application on the Internet.

        Applicants can still call the recruiting office, (513) 352-2971 or (877) 852-7641, or go downtown, Centennial Plaza, 805 Central Avenue, Suite 200.

        But they can also visit and click on “Be a police officer.”

        The deadline is Sept. 14.

        Applicants who make it through this Cincinnati testing and evaluation process will be eligible for 20-week recruit classes next year and in 2003.

        The next class, which starts training at the police academy Monday, tested this time last year.


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