The U.S Labor Department cites the sour economy as the top reason why so many people are out of work and now considering careers such as law enforcement.
The U.S Labor Department cites the sour economy as the top reason why so many people are out of work and now considering careers such as law enforcement. South suburban Chicago Heights is taking advantage of this renewed interest in law enforcement with an upcoming police officer exam. Chicago Heights Police Capt. John Murphy said the department is understaffed and that he expects a “mad rush” of applicants for the two to three officers it expects to hire. Streator Taylor, 30, was laid off in September from his office management job and said he has not been able to find another job. “A lot of my friends and old college buddies have enlisted in the military but now I hear the military is not accepting anyone else because they have too many folks,” Taylor said. “So I figured being a suburban police officer is a lot safer than going to war. At least I will be able to see my family every night.” Mya Evans, 23, graduated in December from Chicago State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and has been unable to find a job. “I would jump at the chance to work in law enforcement. That’s all that’s hiring right now besides health care,” she said. “I see people working a lot of security jobs because quite frankly that’s open. But if I can be a police officer instead of pretending to be one, I would jump at the chance.” Applications are being accepted until April 27 for the May 2 exam at City Hall, 1601 Chicago Road in Chicago Heights. Once an applicant passes the exam they are placed on a hiring list and if selected from that list they must complete a physical, psychological and background tests upon starting their training at the Police Academy. You must also have a high school diploma and be 21 years old. Additionally, applicants have one year to meet the residency requirement, which require officers to live in Chicago Heights. The suburb is located 12 miles south of Chicago. ______ Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.