MILWAUKEE -- It's a tough job but also an important one. The Milwaukee Police Department held a job fair aimed at recruiting people to become police officers on Saturday, March 25th.
The recruitment session is part of a month-long effort to find as many qualified candidates as possible. But the department says that task is becoming increasingly difficult. Not only is the job of a police officer inherently dangerous, it can be emotionally and physically exhausting -- especially in this digital age.
23-year-old Corey Clark was at the session on Saturday, with a goal to make his community a safer place.
"I love Milwaukee. One of our biggest struggles today is the violence," said Corey Clark, potential MPD applicant.
The department is looking to fill 60 officer positions after a wave of retirements. But generating enough interest is sometimes difficult. The Milwaukee Police Academy director says constant public criticism of law enforcement deters many from ever applying.
"Police officer-involved shootings; they're questioning the tactics we use or the validity of the shooting," said Captain Nicole Davila, academy director.
"What's different now is we're under greater electronic scrutiny than ever before," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
Chief Flynn says technology is also creating a less-fit applicant pool.
"If our physical fitness test measured thumb strength, we would have the fittest police department in the world," said Flynn.
Many potential candidates fail the fitness test, that's why the recruitment session gives applicants the chance to try out each of the physical requirements that cadets must meet before they join the academy.
Despite the obstacles, Clark says he's jumping at the chance to show off his skills and learn from the best.
"I'm ready for the challenge, ready for the responsibility," said Clark.
Candidates who make it to the academy then train for six months. There is a class of 60 in training now.
Applicants chosen from this round of recruitment will start training in December.