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Chicago PD revises hiring standards amid staffing shortage

CPD is not the only agency slimming down its college credit requirement


Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

By Suzie Ziegler

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Department has dropped its college credit requirement for some candidates in an effort to boost recruiting numbers, CNN reports. Like many police agencies, the CPD is struggling with staffing numbers in the face of a pandemic and social pressures.

According to the report, CPD Superintendent David Brown said last week that the department would waive college-credit requirements for recruits who already have two years of military or police experience, or three years in corrections, social services, healthcare, trades or education. The old policy required recruits to have at least 60 hours of college credit, the report says.

“The 60 hours of college credit requirement can be prohibitive,” Brown said last week at a news conference. A deputy chief, at the same news conference, said that “life experience really does make a very big difference.”

Last year, about 3,800 people took CPD’s entrance exam. Recent previous years saw as many as 22,000 test-takers.

CPD is not the only agency adjusting their recruiting standard. According to CNN, Philadelphia Police also slimmed down its college credit requirement, as did the New Orleans Police Department.

This is indicative of a broader national trend. Data from 180 police departments found that resignations were up 42.7% in 2021 compared to 2019, and retirements were up 23.6%, according to the report.

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