HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The Henrico Police Department is continuing its efforts to recruit more officers and dispatchers who better reflect their communities.
Tuesday evening, there was a full house at the police department's training center, where applicants got the chance to get some real talk on what it takes to make it onto the force.
The deadline is quickly approaching for those looking to help patrol the streets. The applicants learned this job won't be a cakewalk.
"You have to have the mindset, the drive, the determination to get this job. It's not easy. We want the best. We want the absolute best," said Captain Mark Banks.
It was like going back to school for a room full of people wanting to learn what it takes to join the Henrico Police Department.
"If you want to come here just to be a patrol officer, that's exactly what we need. We have some people who want to be chiefs, but we need a lot of Indians to make this work. We have to have a little bit of both," Captain Linda Toney said.
Ziaire Barfield wouldn't have missed it.
"When I was growing up, I wanted to be a police officer," Barfield said.
Now that he's of age, he can apply. For him, it's not just fulfilling a childhood dream, it means so much more.
"Officers are awesome man. They have a bad rep throughout the United States, so I just want to kind of change that up for our community," Barfield added.
"We want you to be engaged with our community. We are not successful as a police department unless we have a proactive engagement relationship with our community," Sgt. Jermaine Alley told the crowd.
For months now, Sgt. Alley and officers have gone to college campuses and into the heart of the community looking for potential recruits, including women and applicants of different races.
"I think being a police officer, it's a challenge. I like this challenge. I heard a lot of people say, 'It's wasting your time, risking your life,' but I don't think so as long as you be a good human being with other people and communicate with people. That's it," said Noori Resen.
From the looks of it, Henrico will have plenty of options to choose from.
"They want the best of the best, so I already have my application in," Barfield said.
The current round of applications is due at the end of the month for new recruits who could begin in December.
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