Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Interim Superintendent John Escalante on Feb. 22 announced that more than 14,200 individuals recently applied to join the Chicago Police Department, and 71 percent of those who applied are minority applicants. The share of minority applicants is up 13 percent since the previous CPD recruiting campaign in 2013. The latest numbers are driven in part by a recruitment campaign employed by the City of Chicago over the past three months to ensure the Police Department better reflects the makeup of the communities it serves.
In the latest pool of applicants, according to a press release, nearly 29 percent are African-American, 39 percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are Asian — helping CPD reach its goal of increasing diversity among its ranks. Furthermore, for those that identified their gender on the application, 30% of applicants identified as a woman.
For the past three months, the Department used a variety of tactics to recruit potential police officers, including visits to churches, schools, and community events across the City. The Department also worked with firms to research national best practices for police recruitment; develop campaign materials in English and Spanish; promote recruitment resources on radio stations, and through social media — including digital ads.
“Being a Chicago Police Officer is more than just a career – it’s a calling – and I want thank the tens of thousands of residents who want to serve their City,” a press release quoted Mayor Rahm Emanuel as saying. “To continue restoring trust between the police and communities across Chicago, we must build a police force that represents the diversity of the entire City. That is what this recruitment campaign successfully aimed to do, and we will continue to find more ways to make our neighborhoods safer and our city stronger.”
With the application process now complete, the CPD will administer the written police exam on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago. To help applicants prepare for the written exam, the City is providing all applicants a test preparation guide that includes information about the test and sample questions. Furthermore, NOBLE Chicago is holding test preparation classes for applicants in advance of the police exam. Applicants who are interested in receiving further assistance with their test guide are welcome to visit eleven Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership centers around the Chicagoland area. Center locations can be found listed below and on the following site: http://www.workforceboard.org/job-seekers/workforcecenters/
On test day, parking at McCormick Place will be reduced to $10 for test takers, and the Cermak-McCormick Place CTA Green Line station – opened last year – will provide test takers with a convenient public transit stop two blocks away from the testing center.
If you have any questions about test preparation or transportation services, or are interested in additional support, please email CPDtest@cityofchicago.org.
Support for candidates does not end after the written exam. The City of Chicago will update candidates quarterly on the status of the hiring list and will continue to communicate about the requirements and timing of subsequent pre-employment steps.
After completing the entire pre-employment process, recruits spend five months at the Police Academy and receive approximately 1,000 hours of instruction and training before beginning a Field Training Program as a Probationary Police Officer. Upon acceptable completion of the Field Training Program and 13 months of field experience, Probationary Police Officers become full-fledged police officers.
“Joining the Chicago Police Department is joining a police force that places community policing as a top priority,” said Interim Police Superintendent John Escalante. “That means our officers don’t just patrol a neighborhood – they are part of a neighborhood. They don’t just protect a community – they are partners with communities. With a police force that reflects the makeup of the City, we’ll be better positioned to successfully practice community policing.”
Under the Emanuel Administration, more than 1,600 police officers have joined the Chicago Police Department, along with promotions at every rank to bolster strong leadership in the organization. Acting Superintendent Escalante also announced a new leadership team recently that brings diversity at the department’s senior command ranks to a historic level. Now fifty-percent of police chiefs and fifty-percent of deputy chiefs are African-American and more women are serving in executive leadership roles.
The starting salary for Chicago police officers is $47,604 and increases to $72,510 after eighteen months of employment.
This article is based on a press release issued by the Chicago mayor’s office.