NYPD officials launched the first step for the hiring of future officers by announcing a three-week period beginning Wednesday for potential recruits to sign up online for the police exam. The written test which can place a candidate on the waiting list for a spot in the academy.
The sign-up period for the test, the first in the city in two years, runs from April 7 through April 27 and those interested can add their names to the list by going to nypdrecruit.com, to become "part of the — hands down — the greatest police department in the world," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference Tuesday.
"You are going to meet and work with some of the best people you ever imagined," said Shea, pointing to recent crimes such as attacks on Asian Americans in which NYPD officers responded and made quick arrests.
The test is being announced through a mix of social media and mass media campaigns and comes at a time when the department has lost thousands of officers through retirements and has been a target of defund the police sentiment roiling the country.
Two members of Shea’s staff, First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker and Chief of Department Rodney Harrison, recalled how — as Black teenagers decades ago growing up in New York — they took the exam and found themselves in careers that became their passions.
"Where I grew up [Bedford-Stuyvesant] I didn’t have a good relationship with the police," remembered Tucker, who took the police exam in 1967 almost on a whim. "It was the best move I ever made. I took it, not because I liked cops very much at the time, but because I thought that if I ever joined the department I could be someone who looks like me, could be … as good a cop as any other person in this city."
In the last several years, the department has made a number of recruitment pushes, in particular to boost the number of Black officers. Officials said the majority of officers on the force come from minority groups.
The police test will be administered in June, police officials said.
The minimum age of appointment is 21, but candidates may take the exam at 17.5 years of age. Candidates may take the exam up until their 35th birthday.
A person passing the exam will be put on a list for later contact to take the next steps: medical and psychological exams, drug screening, background checks and physical fitness tests. Those passing can be called for academy classes beginning in 2022. New recruits have a starting salary of $42,500, rising to $85,292 after five years.
Shea acknowledged that the recruiting initiative comes at a time when rising violent crime is posing vexing challenges. On Monday night, Joseph McCrimons, who served prison time for a 1993 manslaughter case on Long Island, went to the birthday party for his 8-year-old daughter in Brooklyn and shot the child’s mother and two other adult women, said Chief of Detectives James Essig. McCrimons then took his own life outside the apartment building. His child survived by hiding in a closet, police said.
"Some are becoming numb to this," said Shea of the latest bloodshed. "More people better start talking about this."
Shea signaled that it was time for the mayoral campaign to focus on crime. "Whoever is elected, public safety is going to have to be one of their priorities. It has to be," Shea said.