June 23, 2017
I would take one properly trained officer over 10 thugs any day. Yet while departments across the country are facing police shortages, the only thing they can think to do is cut the standards for hiring.
But with killings by officers forcing a public reckoning over whether the police deserve to be seen automatically as the good guys, departments in major cities are struggling to fill thousands of openings: 1,000 in Chicago, nearly 300 in Phoenix and 200 in Detroit. And with the additional mandate to become as diverse as the communities they serve, police departments are rethinking recruitment standards once considered sacrosanct.
New Orleans, with more than 400 openings, no longer automatically disqualifies those who have injected heroin or smoked crack. Aurora, Colo., has stopped using military-style running tests, but now checks how quickly candidates can get out of a squad car.
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