August 24, 2007 - Posted at 1:08 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-As dozens of recruits put their physical ability to the test, the Jonesboro Police Department is hoping for a few good hires.
"It's very important for us to get good recruits. I think all the way through the process we try to screen the candidates to make sure that we do the best possible job we can for the citizens of Jonesboro, in selecting the right officers that are going to do a good job for them," said Sgt. Steve McDaniel of Jonesboro Police.
However, recruiting officers is growing increasingly harder, as many are choosing other professions.
"When you go into a line of work like this, of course the better pay is something. If you're not getting payed that much, you have to weigh the consequences of getting out there and putting your life on the line and not getting paid that much," said new recruit, Daniel Willey.
For many though, the opportunity to serve, is a life dream.
"I have relatives that were in the police force, and I've always wanted to do it since I was a little kid. Now that I have the opportunity to do it, I just got out here and tried my best. We'll see what happens," said new recruit, Lloyd Norman.
And these recruits do have something to look forward to.
"From what I was told, the police department is working hard at getting better benefits for the officers. So, that will be good for the officers when they get on," said Willey.
Most of these applicants say it's not just about the money and benefits, but serving the community as well.
"You have to want to be a police officer. It's something that you are never going to make a lot of money at. It's something you've got to want to do, get out there and work with the community," said Willey.
Those who have served and protected for years say that passion is what a good recruit is built on.
"I think law-enforcement officers, the ones that I've see, have a passion for the job. The ones that stay around are passionate about policing. They want to do the job and be able to take care of their other business as well. I think it starts with a passion for law-enforcement," said McDaniel.
Applicants must pass both written and physical exams before being considered for a position with the police force.
Today's top running time was 1.5 miles in just over 9 minutes.