Seven cadets graduate from police academy

Posted at: 03/01/2013 6:36 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Seven new APD officers are hitting the streets after the 108th graduating class of APD was announced Friday. But Chief Ray Schultz said there is still more work to do for recruiting officers.

The department is still 115 officers short, but Schultz is trying everything he can to get more people through the doors.

“We're short officers right now, it's a national trend. I would have loved to have a larger class. But we're not going to give up quality for quantity,” Schultz said.

As for the quality, Schultz said a psychologist who reviews profiles of prospective APD candidates has been seeing improvements, too.

“When I see those reviews, that are coming from the psychologist, we're seeing more and more applicants that are identified as very well suited to be peace officers,” Schultz said.

APD is also targeting younger recruits through a recent advertising blitz. And they are not just targeting radio and television.

“Obviously the internet is very, very important. The younger officers spend a lot of time on things like Facebook and craigslist, so we're exploring all those options,” Schultz said.

According to Schultz, over 50 percent of recent recruits have mentioned social media as the way they learned of openings at APD.

There will be 25 candidates for the 109th graduating class, but Schultz said they could see numbers exceeding classes of the past five years for the 110th recruiting class that will start in the fall.