BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Police Department has issued a last minute call to those interested in joining the force after seeing a decrease in applications.
It's almost that time when eager recruits make the transition from civilians to officers. Before the physical training can begin, first comes the civil service test, and right now, the BRPD admits they've seen a slump in interest.
"We are a little down and there's a lot of factors that go into that," said Sgt. Don Coppola.
Coppola says usually the department sees roughly 120 applications before the start of a recruiting class, but with the deadline closing in, this year they have received less than half that number, just 42 applications. Coppola says it's important for anyone willing to apply to act now.
"By the close of business Monday, April 3, you have to have that application in to take the test. Please don't hesitate. Get those applications in and let's get the process rolling," Coppola added.
Residents though, may not be as eager to sign up to serve and protect partly because of the public's perception of law enforcement, but Coppola said one way to fix that starts with the recruits accepted at BRPD. "We are looking for a remedy to change that and it starts here. It starts with you," he added.
Still another reason holding applicants back could be fear. Once again, BRPD officers are wearing a thin blue line patch over their badges, mourning the loss of another area law enforcement officer shot and killed in the line of duty.
"Well, I think if you're interested and your heart's in this line of work and it's your passion, then you set all that to the side," Coppola said.
Whatever the reason for the decline in interest, Coppola encourages anyone to consider answering the call. "Anyone that's 21-years-old or older who wants to make a difference in our community who has a passion for this line of work, come to come join our team, come join our family," Coppola added.
The civil service test is set to be given in May. Anyone interested in submitted an application before the deadline is encouraged to call the Baton Rouge Police Department.