The entry-level Police Officer recruitment efforts by the Human Resources and Champaign Police departments culminated on September 3rd with 406 total applications received, including 115 minorities (28.32%) and 81 female applicants (19.95%). New this year, a $25 testing fee or waiver was implemented. The intent of the testing fee was to reduce the number of applicants expected to attend the test but do not appear, and to recoup some of the costs of administering the test to a large group. Out of the 406 applications received, 210 people submitted a fee and 28 applied for and were granted a hardship waiver which exempted them from paying the fee.
Orientation and testing was again hosted in three locations (Champaign, Carbondale, and Macomb) in an effort to target qualified applicants from nearby university criminal justice programs. 238 applicants (59 minorities (25.43%) and 43 women (18.07%)) were then invited to attend an orientation/testing session. 184 applicants participated in the testing sessions, held on three Saturdays during the month of September. The top testers were invited to participate in oral interviews with the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and City staff in November.
The program appears to have been successful, as approximately 77% of those who submitted a fee or waiver actually sat for the test, compared to a 43% testing rate last year. In addition, the implementation of a testing fee did not have a significant impact on the percentage of minority or women applicants. This year, the percentage of minority candidates is not significantly different from last year, and the percentage of female applicants is actually higher. Both were well above the goals set by the City’s EEO program.
The testing fees generated approximately $5,250 towards the cost of administering the test.