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Campaign attracts those to law enforcement jobs in Chicago

Posted on March 1, 2017

A new campaign was successful in attracting workers to law enforcement jobs in Chicago.

Chicago has completed its CPD recruitment campaign, with 16,544 qualified applicants seeking to take the April 2017 Police Entry Exam, just one year after the previous exam. These applications come as a result of a two-month recruitment campaign aimed at supporting CPD’s hiring goals to grow the Department by nearly 1,000 officers over the next two years and efforts to make the Department more reflective of the city it serves.

“We called on Chicagoans to join the police department and to be the change, and thousands have stepped up to serve our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The response to our call for applicants is proof positive that as a city we are committed to making our police department bigger, more diverse, and more reflective of all our strengths.”

CPD received more applications than last year, with a greater percentage reporting as a minority than last year’s diverse pool of candidates. The Department reports 16,544 applicants were invited to take the April 2017 exam, self-reporting as 31.7 percent female and 73.4 percent nonwhite, including 35.4 percent African-American, 33.0 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent Asian. Following last year’s campaign, 14,234 applicants were invited to take the exam, self-reporting as 29.5 percent female and 71.3 percent nonwhite.

“I am encouraged by the large number of applicants and minorities who want to be a part of the positive change that is occurring throughout the Department,” said CPD Superintendent Johnson. “These applicants represent the next generation at CPD who will work with veteran officers to build trust with our communities and make Chicago safer.”

The intensive recruitment effort included advertising campaigns online, on WVON and Univision radio, and on billboards on the Dan Ryan, Stephenson, Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways. Grassroots partnerships with Aldermen, faith-based institutions, colleges and universities, and community organizations across the city helped support recruitment efforts. In total, the recruitment campaign hosted or participated in more than 430 events, ranging from veteran’s groups to LGBTQ centers to Chambers of Commerce, including Goodcity, HACE and the Rainbow Push Coalition. In addition, a pre-movie PSA featuring “Chicago PD” star LaRoyce Hawkins was shown at Studio Movie Grill on 87th, Ford City and a theater at 22nd and Cicero.

WVON further supported the recruitment campaign by running on-air PSA spots, hosting a recruitment event, and through on-air talent acting as ambassadors and appealing directly to the community. Finally, 116 CPD officers engaged their communities as District Ambassadors and could be seen on every corner across the city talking with candidates and sharing their personal stories about why they wanted to become a police officer.

“The diverse applicant pool is a direct result of Mayor Emanuel and the City’s commitment to hiring individuals who are reflective of the communities they serve,” said DHR Commissioner Choi. “We look forward to working with these applicants throughout the application and pre-employment process.”