TOPEKA (KSNT) –
TOPEKA,Kan.(KSNT)- The Topeka Police Department needs more officers. They’ve been in a shortage for a few years, which make recruiting days, like Saturday, so important.
The day started with a written test and ended with some running. About 30 recruits successfully completed day one, but their training isn’t over yet.
“Strong ethics, good work habits, and good physical attributes to be able to do the duties of a police officer,” says Topeka Police Department Sgt. Matt Danielson.
Those who thought they could make the cut, showed up to the police recruitment day with some running shoes and nerves.
“Yes, I was nervous, but you know you came out here with a goal and a mission.” says Melvin Logan.
The Topeka Police Department also came out with a goal- to fill officer vacancies, especially with minorities. They want to do that so they can better represent the people they serve.
“We’ve seen a good minority representation and some females, so it’s been a good day,” says Sgt. Danielson.
The lack of females on the department finally prompted Erin Wilson to apply.
“It’s part of why I want to do it, because there’s not and they obviously need them,”says Wilson.
With the recent shootings of New York police officers, as well as the killing of Topeka’s Corporal Jason Harwood, it was unclear how many recruits would show up.
“It can either scare people off, or what I’m hoping is that we’re going to find people that will stand up and say ‘I’m willing to do something about this.’ ” says Sgt. Danielson.
People like Logan chose the latter option.
“It’s always the risk you take. But somebody’s got to do it,” says Logan.
Though the physical portion of testing is over, “Obviously once you become a police officer, the real test begins,” says Sgt. Danielson.
In order to fill more officer vacancies, the Topeka Police Department will now start offering recruitment tests on a monthly basis.