In the first eight hours that applications were made available to join the ranks of the Toledo Police Department, hundreds of people put in their bids both in person and online.
With less than 25 minutes to go on that first day, 368 people had shown up to apply at the downtown Michael P. Bell Fire Administration Building, 545 N. Huron St., and 305 filled out applications online, said Jen Sorgenfrei, city of Toledo spokesman.
The police department — which has a class of 40 officers at the Toledo Police Academy now — seeks to hire a class of 75 immediately to begin training at the academy in September.
The goal for the duration of the application process, which ends Nov. 16, is to get as many applicants as possible to create pools of candidates for future classes.
“I hope today is indicative of how the rest of the process goes through Nov. 16,” said Chief Derrick Diggs, who was at the fire building Saturday morning.
The crowd filing in and out Saturday was diverse, which is what the department is looking for, the chief said.
One of those hoping to be hired was Jeremy Upton, 25, of Perrysburg.
The former Marine, currently working in construction, said being a police officer was always something he wanted to do.
With his military background, he said, he believes he’ll have an advantage over some of the other applicants.
Also among the applicants was 29-year-old Allison Roebke of Sylvania.
Ms. Roebke, who said she has a master’s degree in criminal justice and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Toledo, said she started seriously thinking about a career in law enforcement about five years ago.
The attraction to the job, she said, is stability and the opportunity to have a career. It would also be a good way to use her degrees — which she isn’t doing now, working at her father's dental practice — and motivation to stay fit.
“I've been preparing for this,” Ms. Roebke said. “I've been training for the academy since last year.”
Ms. Roebke said she runs 1.5 miles outdoors and an additional 5 miles on a treadmill five times a week, in addition to doing the pushups and situps required as part of the fitness test.
She said she also has experience working for a private security firm and knows that she wants, eventually, to build a career to become a homicide detective or to work within the department on human trafficking issues.
“Toledo is getting a little more dangerous these days, it seems,” she said. “I want to be a part of making Toledo a safer place.”
Mayor Mike Bell, who was also at the application kick off, greeted candidates and wished them good luck.
The type of officer the city needs, he said, is a person who “has the ability to handle stress in a way that’s very calm” and has a sense of “mental preparedness.”
Chief Diggs agreed, adding that candidates must be “committed” and have a “desire and dedication if they want to make police work their life.”
The chief, who has been a member of the department for more than three decades, said he misses patrol work.
“Absolutely I miss it,” he said. “I’ll jump in a police car in a New York second.”
Contact Taylor Dungjen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6054.