Police recruitment is revving to a new level with the addition of a custom-wrapped vehicle taking to the streets. With iconic images of the city emblazed on the 2020 Chevy Malibu, the vehicle provides a visible reminder that the police department is continually recruiting for officers.
While recruitment numbers were stable in 2019 and 2020 (31 and 29 new officers, respectively), the effects of the pandemic are starting to be felt as the number of certified law enforcement professionals applying to be officers has fallen, and requests for sponsorship by the city to attend the law enforcement academy have increased. Currently, there are 11 vacancies for fulltime officers with a starting pay of $41,578; however, due to retirements, officers leaving for another agency or the profession, and others who aren’t able perform the duties, recruitment is important yearround.
Recruitment efforts are led by the seven-member training unit. Pre-COVID, the unit participated in 12-15 recruiting events a year including a biannual law enforcement symposium at Bethune-Cookman University. Now with the addition of the wrapped cruiser, the team hopes to continuously promote recruitment needs and increase diversity in its ranks.