In an attempt to fill in the ranks of the Chicago Police Department, the Daley Administration has agreed to a new entrance exam for recruits.
For the first time in four years, recruits could be able take an exam to get into the police academy and side-step a lengthy and cumbersome application process. Currently the department faces a shortage of more than 2,300 officers a day and a backlog of candidates that goes back to 2006, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Officials hope to agree on an exam that can be graded on the spot, rather than waiting months for scores to be posted.
Four firms are competing for the right to staff, administer and grade the exam, according to a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Human Resources. The administration hopes to have a response by Oct. 8th since the manpower shortage is getting worse with each wave of retirements.
But that's not all.
Ald. Anthony Beale, the Chairman of the City Council Police Committee, suggests the city should eliminate one specific requirement to become a Chicago Police officer in order to increase diversity in the ranks. He says applicants should no longer be required to complete at least two years of college to get on the force.
The reduced education requirement would "level the playing field" for minority applicants, said Beale.
"A lot of minorities can't afford to go to college. A lot of minorities go into the trades or into the military. Why should they be excluded? Beale told the Sun-Times. "If a person is 24 or 25, they're at a maturity level where they can make solid decisions. Why not take that in place of college? The goal is get more minorities and streamline the process."