The Carrollton Police Department saw a rise in its applicant pool size based on numbers from its June 20 police entrance exam.
The test garnered a total of 64 applicants for three open officer positions, a 36% increase over the applicant pool sizes from the last two tests in January and October, according to department spokeswoman Jolene DeVito.
In a June 20 social media post, Carrollton Police Chief Derick Miller said he attends every exam.
“To be honest, we weren’t sure what kind of turnout to expect this morning,” he said in the post.
DeVito said this was because of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and the subsequent protests.
“It reassured us that many people still have a heart to serve and want to serve in Carrollton,” she said in an email.
She added that the department has worked on intentional community engagement over the past four to five years and has garnered strong community support as a result.
“We’d certainly like to think that contributed to our strong test turnout,” she said.
The department approaches recruitment in a variety of ways, including by visiting high schools, colleges and universities, military bases and city of Carrollton events. Recruiters are sent to historically black colleges and universities, DeVito said, and the department advertises on its website, social media and in other ways the internet.
It also looks for possible future employees through its Explorer and internship programs, DeVito said.
The department’s most recently reported demographic numbers reflect a staff that is about 73 percent Caucasian, 15 percent Hispanic or Latino, and almost 9 percent African American, according to data provided by the department. In addition, about 2 percent of department staff is Asian, and less than one percent is Native American.
The data provided by the department reports a city population that is roughly 72 percent Caucasian, 33 percent Hispanic or Latino, 8 percent African American and 15 percent Asian. Less than 1 percent of the city population is reported to be Native American.
Because the department is a civil service agency, the department must follow a hiring process that is led in part by the ranking of applicant test scores. DeVito said the department cannot skip around on the list to try to hire a specific person for any reason.
“It's all about intentional recruiting to get a qualified and diverse applicant pool to the test,” she said.
In his social media post, Miller said he attends every Carrollton Police civil service entrance exam to welcome applicants and “set expectations from day one.”
“At the Carrollton Police Department, our mission is to ‘proactively protect our community while treating all we encounter with professionalism, dignity and respect,’” Miller said in a statement to "The Carrollton Leader." “My expectation is that our officers adhere to this without fail. This isn’t just a job you try on for size. It is a calling. You must truly have a servant’s heart. I tell our applicants if you don’t already know if it’s ‘in your heart’, this profession probably isn’t for you.”