Representatives from the Dallas Police Department were at Murray State Thursday recruiting students to join the academy.
“We are looking to hire at least another 500 officers for our department,” said Dominique Erwin, senior corporal and class coordinator at the Dallas Police Academy.
Erwin said that the department has had several officers retire and they are looking to replenish their numbers.
In addition to Murray State, the representatives have been to Fort Campbell and Austin Peay State among other schools in the area doing classroom presentations to recruit students.
Erwin said they had about 10 students show interest from Murray State.
She said the process takes four to six months to get hired. Applicants have to travel to Dallas for training, unless the academy chooses to conduct off-site training in the Tennessee area.
The hiring process includes a civil service exam, pre-polygraph, a polygraph, PT exam and oral interview. Erwin said if you pass all of those tests, the applicant’s packet goes to a background investigation which takes about two months to complete, and the applicant then has a psychological and medical exam.
She said if you pass all of those tests you will be placed into the Dallas Police Academy – a 36-week paid program.
“Anyone can apply,” Erwin said. “We are looking for anybody and everyone who is interested in serving and making our communities better.”
Currently, there are 3,300 officers in the Dallas Police Department, 629 of them women. Erwin said the number of women is high compared to other agencies, but they are still aiming to increase this number.
“We harp on finding more women,” Erwin said.
Erwin said the Dallas Police Department starting salary is $48,000 with a degree, and $44,000 without. The department also offers benefits and a retirement program.
“We have one of the top academies in the nation, so if you are looking for really good training, the Dallas Police Academy will really get it done for you,” Erwin said.