Chicago Police Department Looks to Boost Recruits

The Chicago Police Department is looking to boost its list of recruits by the thousands.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Friday he hopes to have 30,000 people apply to become police officers.

So far, roughly 20,000 people have applied since the beginning of August, McCarthy said, but the Sept. 16 deadline is quickly approaching.

“A career in law enforcement is a great opportunity,” McCarthy said.

This year, McCarthy said the department lowered the minimum age for applicants to 18, down from 21, and maintained a maximum age of 40.

“We want the best and brightest, the smartest, hardworking and we also want to make sure that we reflect the demographics of the community,” McCarthy said.

The department only offers the test once every three to five years, as the costs of administering the test run around $1 million, McCarthy said.

Earlier this week, police sources told NBC 5 the mayor is asking the police department to cut its budget by 10 percent for next year.

On Tuesday, McCarthy said the department is "looking at different methods that we can still save money."

"We've been looking at ways of creating efficiencies, whether it's getting cops out on the street, hiring civilians, or consolidating districts which we did successfully in three separate neighborhoods," McCarthy said.

Still, this past holiday weekend saw at least seven dead and 23 wounded, and at least nine people were shot overnight Saturday.

McCarthy clarified that those efforts to save money will not come at the expense of police performance and emphasizes that the city's murder rate is down by 85 fewer murders so far this year.

An open house for potential candidates to meet with current CPD officers and tour the facility will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Police Academy, 1300 W. Jackson St.

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