CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department is holding in-person exams as part of a push to hire and train more officers.
More than 900 people registered for the police exam, taking the first steps towards becoming a Chicago police officer.
"We are looking for viable candidates, people who are just motivated to be Chicago police officers right now," said CPD Sergeant Nathaniel Myles with the recruitment and retention unit.
It's not an easy time to be a police officer, especially in Chicago.
"It is tough, it is tough right now, but it's a calling to be a police officer it has to be something you want to do," Sergeant Myles.
But Chicagoans like Sergio Melgarejo, who has worked in many communities in the city, wanted to be a part of improving the city.
"I've been community driven for a long time," Melgarejo said. "I'm older and more developed and what drove me to become a cop is not only to help my community but help myself."
Hundreds of people signed up to take the police entry exam, taking place at all seven City Colleges of Chicago locations.
CPD is looking to hire more officers and diversify the department, but finding willing and capable candidates has been a challenge, so recruiters are fanning out to find more.
"We have our recruiters not just scouring not just the city of Chicago but around the nation," Sergeant Myles said. "Right now, I have officers in Texas Southern University, Tennessee State University. We have six recruiters driving back from Indiana State University. They had a great turnout at the law enforcement expo out there, and our job is to try and get in every market."
CPD said those hired receive a starting salary of over $54,000-a-year, and get an increase to over $82,458 annually after 18 months on the job.
Testing runs through Saturday.