TPD beefs up recruitment efforts
The Tucson Police Department is beefing up its force- just one year after budget cuts forced the department to cut jobs. And officers say they're changing the way they recruit officers, to find the best people for the job.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Stephani Ruiz
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In the next year, the Tucson Police Department plans to hire over 100 new officers- a much needed addition to the community, according to Police Chief Roberto Villasenor.
"For three years, our staffing just went steadily down. Now, for the first time, we're starting to go back up again," Villasenor said. "It's not going to happen as quickly as we went down, but I think in the long term it will take us up."
Villasenor says more officers means a safer community. And a better relationship between the department and the people of Tucson.
"If I had more officers, I'm able to do more things. I'm able to engage them in more community involvement. I'm able to place them at different areas," Villasenor said. "But when I have limited
resources and we're stretching them thin and the officers and the support staff are out there doing a fantastic job, but they can only do so much."
Through the last few months of recruiting, officers say they've found solid applicants. But worry a complicated system has caused some to slip through the cracks.
"It's imperative that we get the right people into the door, that we make a good competitive process and select only the best for this police department," Lt. Mike Pryor said.
So TPD is streamlining the process- creating one website where the department will post videos explaining the application process and real life experiences officers face. Officers hope this could double the amount of good recruits the department attracts.
"In our past hiring processes we've done very well in attracting some high quality people. What I don't know is how many good people could have fallen through the cracks," Pryor said.
TPD hopes to have the new website up, complete with instruction videos and the new application process, by July 1. Just in time to recruit for the January 2013 academy.