Philly police enlist help of neighborhoods to find diverse cadet candidates

Philadelphia Police Department
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With a national call for police reform, Philadelphia's department is adapting how they gather potential cadets for the next academy class. Recruiters are specifically focused on working with community groups and pulling the next class of cadets from city neighborhoods.

Even with the pandemic hindering face-to-face meetings, Capt. Tyrell McCoy is encouraging people from city neighborhoods to apply. Applications are available online.

"Having those community stakeholders and various civic organizations come out and assist us with the recruitment efforts helps us to identify people who will be great candidates."

And this time, they're using Zoom calls for information sessions. 

"A lot of our recruiting efforts are done virtually, so we have adapted protocols to be able to speak to people via virtual platforms and be able to ask those questions," he said.

He says to "weed out" any potential bad apples, applicants go through a lie-detector and psychological examination as well as an in-depth background check and interview.

Police are working on other programs and protocols to detect candidates who may carry bias against any group.

Officer salaries start at $54,000.