GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - For the first time in nearly four years, the Grand Rapids Police Department is hiring officers.
Tuesday, GRPD officers were recruiting for applicants at Grand Valley State University and spoke with students who will soon graduate from the police academy there. The department is looking to hire eight to 10 officers.
GRPD pays $41,000 to start. Within the first year, an officer can make more than $50,000. By the time their salary caps at five years later, an officer can make nearly $65,000.
With the addition of a pension, paid training and other benefits, the city should have no trouble finding applicants.
But GRPD is looking for quality.
"We are hoping to draw several hundred applicants," said Lt. Michael Maycroft. "It is very competitive, very competitive, but we will get the best out of that group."
Maycroft said that since 2008, the city has lost close to 25 percent of its officers due to layoffs and attrition.
While most of the laid-off officers have been hired back, there's still a huge gap.
"From our highs, we are probably down about a hundred officers," Maycroft said.
While he acknowledged that the eight to 10 officers that the department was looking to hire wouldn't make up the whole loss, Maycroft said it would at least keep things from getting any worse.
Grand Rapids is facing hiring competition from other cities, counties and state police.
For students, the timing is ideal.
"These jobs are opening up," Maycroft said. "A few years ago [the students] had to go out of state or get lucky and find a few openings around here or in the state that they could stay."
The application deadline is July 14. Officers hired in the current round of training will not hit the streets until June 2014.
Maycroft said that by then, the department will be working on hiring the next group of officers.
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