CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than 16,000 people have applied to become Chicago police officers in the city's latest recruitment campaign, the city said.
Officials said this year there is a more diverse crowd. More than 30 percent of recruits are woman and nearly 75 percent are minorities, with 35.4 percent African American, 33 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent Asian.
A total of 16,544 qualified applicants are seeking to take the police entry exam in April 2017. This is part of the mayor's plan to put nearly a thousand new officers on city streets and the department's "Be the Change" recruitment campaign.
"We called on Chicagoans to join the police department and to be the change, and thousands have stepped up to serve our city," said Mayor Emanuel. "The response to our call for applicants is proof positive that as a city we are committed to making our police department bigger, more diverse, and more reflective of all our strengths."
"I am encouraged by the large number of applicants and minorities who want to be a part of the positive change that is occurring throughout the Department," said CPD Superintendent Johnson. "These applicants represent the next generation at CPD who will work with veteran officers to build trust with our communities and make Chicago safer."
The deadline to apply was last week.