Chicago Police Department seeking more diverse workforce

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The Chicago Police Department announced this week it will be hiring officers. Both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Chief Garry McCarthy said they want to increase the number of minorities on its payroll.

The department, which has about 12,000 officers and supervisors, is about 52 percent white, 23 percent black, 22 percent Hispanic and 3 percent Asian, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The last time the department held an exam, in 2013, about 19,000 people applied, but McCarthy was quoted by the Chicago Tribune saying he did not know how many of those applicants were minorities.

Officials hope more African-Americans and Latinos will apply by the Dec. 16 application to take the exam, which will be given in February. To increase the number of applications, officials have launched a campaign that will include media ads and visits by current officers to churches, schools and community events to get the word out, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Applicants must be at least 18 when they take the test and are required to have 60 semester hours of college credit or 36 months of continuous active-duty service; or one year of military service and 30 hours of college credit.

They’ll also need a valid Illinois driver’s license and to be a city resident. And they’ll have to submit to a background investigation, medical exam, drug test and psychological evaluation.

A new officer’s base pay will be about $47,000 and after 18 months increase to about $72,000, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Emanuel and McCarthy both stressed at a press conference that priority would be given to applicants who are Chicago Public Schools graduates, those with a military background and anybody with a family member who died in the line of duty while serving in the Chicago police or fire departments.

More information about applying is available here.

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