How Atlanta Hires Police Officers

It’s a slogan calling on people to come in and watch the community as they see fit.

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Police Department has a new slogan in their recruiting, it’s called “Be The Change”.

Lt. Kristin Knight, of the Atlanta Police Department’s Background and Recruiting Unit, said the tagline calls on people to come and watch the community as they see fit.

“It’s a call to action,” she said. “It’s a call to bring people like us, whom we want, here.”

Knight said she wants people who want to become police officers to feel empowered by their new slogan.

“It means I invite you to do the job, to do the job the way you want it to,” Knight said.

And with that, the department has launched a new social media campaign where recruiting agents go to popular hangouts in the community and answer people’s questions on how to become an agent.

Knight said each event was also streamed live online.

“Everyone should see in their police exactly what they see in their community,” she said.

Knight believes the recent increase in crime in the city shouldn’t scare off potential officers, but inspire them to make a difference.

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“This job is not for the faint of heart. When I was looking for a job in 2005, I only applied to the Atlanta Police Department. I knew where I wanted to be,” she says.

City Council recently checked the Atlanta Police Department’s hiring practices and found it to be an incredibly competitive service.

Between 2017 and 2020, the department had more than 12,000 candidates and only hired 171.

That’s an acceptance rate of 1.4%.

The city ordered the audit after the social justice movement last summer and a wave of anti-police sentiment.

However, Knight said she doesn’t think these events are hurting recruitment at APD.

“An interesting thing that I heard, I heard it twice, was that people felt compelled to want to be police officers in the midst of the experiences of last summer. I was moved, I thought that it was really cool, and I want these people to be on the force, ”she said.

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Research shows that the starting salary for an Atlanta Police Department officer is 48,500 people.

Applicants must pass an agility test, obtain a fingerprint, pass a drug test and lie detector test before being considered, according to Knight.

Even though Knight wants to hire people, she thinks it’s good that their process to become an officer is difficult – she wants to hire the best of the best.

“It’s a noble profession, you make it what it is, and I’ve never had a more meaningful job in my life,” she said.

While it may take a while to become an officer, if you apply, Knight said you’ll likely get an ODA response the next day.

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About Geraldine Higgins

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