TACOMA -- They solve crimes, arrest criminals and ensure public safety, but as Tacoma Police look for their new round of recruits, the departments is finding not enough are answering the call of duty. The process includes a background check, a written exam, and a physical ability test.
The physical ability test includes roughly 30 push-ups, 34 sit-ups, and a 1 1/2 mile run that stands between a Tacoma Police applicants and a job.
"I think a lot of the applicants are coming in not knowing what they need to do and what the standards are," said Nic Anderson, the trainer for Crossfit Decimus Gym in Tacoma.
Anderson's gym works with Tacoma Police to prepare potential recruits.
"The need is physically fit applicants, applicants not coming off the couch but coming in ready to be pushed," said Anderson.
After nearly 30 years on the job, Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool remembers the grueling application process.
"I remember it well like it was yesterday; I walked in horrified because 2400 people standing in the convention center was just overwhelming," she said.
However, times have changed and this year even with a deadline extension. Tacoma Police gathered only 1600 applicants, which was 800 people shy of its goal.
"We need a good field of applicants to go through that process because at each stage obviously, people are eliminated," said Cool.
Cool said the pool especially needs to be big because only 2 percent of those who apply get hired. She believes fewer people are applying because there are more jobs to choose from now. Cool also notes that police work is a physically demanding job, one she argues is worth every ounce of energy.
Tacoma Police will have 30 openings they hope to fill in the next two years from this pool. People can still apply through Tuesday, May 20.
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