Harper College

Harper, communities partner to prepare new, more diverse candidates for police careers

Several Northwest suburban communities are teaming up to help address a nationwide trend: the growing shortage of police officers.

Together they’ll offer a Police Officer Training Workshop that aims to find new and more diverse candidates, provide clarity into the hiring process and increase awareness for the many career opportunities in law enforcement.

The live virtual event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 13.

In recent years, the Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Schaumburg police departments have each experienced a drop in the number of job applicants. The challenge they face is not unique. Surveys show nearly two-thirds of departments across the U.S. have seen similar decreases. Agencies are also reporting difficulty recruiting minority, female and bilingual officers.

Representatives of the area villages’ administrations and police departments cite various factors for the decline, including a more competitive job market, disinterest in the profession, and a lack of preparation for the selection process itself.

They’ve formed the Northwest Suburban Law Enforcement Recruitment Taskforce and partnered with Harper College's Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Program to develop the half-day informational workshop.

In addition to networking with newly hired and veteran police officers, attendees will gain valuable insight into the various stages of the police officer selection process from subject matter experts! Sessions will cover:

  • The written examination
  • Physical ability (POWER) testing
  • A panel discussion on the polygraph examination, psychological testing and background investigation
  • Oral interviews

Attendees can also learn about the many benefits of becoming a police officer including compensation, which remains higher in the Chicago area than most other regions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and sheriff’s patrol officers in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan region earn an annual mean salary of $79,540.

The seven agencies hope the workshop will increase the number and diversity of their candidates and help aspiring police officers to be successful in the selection process. They’re also looking for individuals interested in exploring internships, ride-alongs, and otherwise learn more about a career in law enforcement.

The cost to attend the Police Officer Training Workshop is $25. Visit bit.ly/PoliceOfficerTesting to register.

Last Updated: 3/14/24