COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Columbus Police Department is running a campaign to hire more quality officers. With several openings right now, they want to fill positions soon with a diverse group of new officers.
They have 462 officers on their team, but they're looking for a few good qualified applicants, men and women from all walks of life to complete their police force and to protect and serve.
26 slots are open for new officers. They now have a video as one part of their recruitment strategy.
"We hope they see our billboards for one thing and our signs out front as well as our website that we're hiring," Major Wanna Barker-Wright said.
Recent recruits are excited to "Join the Force for Good". They're waiting to go through the police academy. Out of six recent hires, five of them were women.
Virginia Duncan said, "I think that women have a lot to bring and we may do thing a little differently from men, but I think you need a well rounded department, as a female I can bring that".
But the department also wants more minorities such as African Americans to apply. The starting salary ranges depending on educational levels are:
- High School or GED-$36,723.71
- Associates Degree-$37,563.78
- Bachelor's Degree-$38,812.30
- Master's Degree-$40,060.82
The whole application process takes about 90 days. Ricardo Junco is a former Fort Benning soldier and he thinks it's worth the wait and training.
"It's necessary for the department to be vetted properly, the applicants have to become people who are helping out the community," Junco stated.
Jessica Goodwin is following in the footsteps of her father, a former Columbus Police Officer. She's ready to take on the unknowns in her new career choice.
"I'm not to worried. They're going to prepare me for it and show me what to do and I go out on the road and do it," said Goodwin.
As part of the command staff, for 37 years, Major Wanna Barker-Wright has worked her way up the ranks for a rewarding career with CPD.
Barker-Wright mentions, "It's something different everyday, you meet different people everyday and it's a challenge. It's just not job, it's a challenge, you have certain areas you can work in, not only patrol. We have our I-D unit. We have the detective division, special operation division, so it's different areas."
"Columbus is where I live so that's why I want to make my community better and I think being a police officer will help do that," said Duncan.
A background check, physical and a state exam are just some of the requirements to become part of the police team. After the recruitment process, officers are sent to the police academy which is in Columbus on Macon Road.
Click here to find out more information on how to become part of the team.