Largest Class Ever Not Enough for Lubbock Police Academy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/14/05

Largest Class Ever Not Enough for Lubbock Police Academy

Becoming an officer of the law is no cake walk. These officers are going into a career that sees danger almost every day, with high stress and little recognition. Which is why out of 329 applicants, only 44 qualified for the academy. "Backgrounds checks, intensive polygraphs, physicals, enormous amount of investments just to get here," says Lubbock Police Chief Claude Jones.

Lubbock police are looking for more than a few good men and women, try about a hundred. "This is the largest class in our history," says Chief Jones. But even if all 44 recruits graduate, the force will still need about 70 officers to fill the city council goal of two officers for every one thousand citizens.

In order to get applicants the city council has stepped up to give the LPD the resources they need to hire the right recruits. "We can compete with larger cities, we can hire qualified good people," said Chief Jones.

3 Recruits: Same Goal, Different Roads
Meet the three new recruits that we will follow from day one of their training in the Lubbock Police Academy all the way through graduation day.

Officers in training make $18 an hour, nearly double what the class of 1991 made. With the continued support financially from taxpayers the chief believes they'll keep producing quality officers. "Public safety is a priority, and we can see that with this class," says Jones.

The city invests thousands of dollars in background checks, polygraphs and interviewing before the recruits get to the classrooms. So if one person were to drop out, the city does lose out on that money.

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