Chicago Police looking for more people ready to 'Be The Change'

FOX 32 NEWS - Chicago’s violence continues to tear a hole in the city. Three more murders this weekend, and 24 more shot.

We remain a city divided, but Chicago police officers are looking for more people ready to "Be The Change."

The officers who made the sales pitches Monday are called "ambassadors" for the department and they're part of a program called "Be The Change." 

From CTA stations packed with commuters to intersections busy with rush hour drivers, Chicago police officers were out asking Chicagoans to  "Be the Change" by joining the ranks.

“I don’t know any job where all you have to do is be 21, and have 60 credit hours, and you're going to make $72K a year,” said Officer Danielle Brown.

Officer Danielle Brown is one of the department's so-called "ambassadors," who was out Monday looking for new recruits. So was Officer Tim Crawford, who wants the police force to be more diverse.

“I was one of those guys that grew up in a communities just  like this one, and one of the things that happened was I realized that not a lot of people in my community that were the police, looked like me,” said Officer Tim Crawford.

So how does Officer Crawford handle questions about the dangers of being a cop?

“Well you'd be surprised to find out that most officers go their whole career without ever having to shoot their weapon, other than to qualify,” Crawford said. It’s not as bad as people think. This is a great career. A great career.”

Some of the potential recruits seemed to agree.

“Even though my major was in technology, there is a place for me there. And I can learn and branch off and do different things,” said resident Octavia Harris.

Others, though, were less enthusiastic, like Rodney Davis, who was asked if he would encourage his son to join CPD.

“It’s a dangerous job, you know, how many times you turn on the TV and see police officers getting shot, or shot at,” Davis said.

Ambassadors do point out that officers get full health care coverage, tuition benefits and a retirement plan. Some, like Officer Tasha Flippin, use a more philosophical pitch.

FOX 32: How do you convince people they should be the change?

“Well my coworker said it better. She said, do not sway because of negative perceptions, do not walk in fear, be the change that you want to see. So that's my pitch to try to convince individuals to join us,” said Officer Tasha Flippin.

The deadline for submitting applications is midnight Tuesday, and testing will be at McCormick Place April 1st or 2nd.

The recruitment is part of a two-year hiring effort that will add nearly one thousand new officers to the department.

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