The Baltimore Police Department has had a hard time recruiting officers for years–and last year’s unrest just made it even more difficult to fill the hundreds of vacancies within the system. So the city has decided to look farther afield.
The department is sending 11 officials to Puerto Rico this summer as part of an effort to recruit bilingual officers, the Baltimore Sun reports. The city took a previous recruiting trip to P.R. to fill gaps in its ranks a decade ago, following the lead of places like D.C. Puerto Rican officers stand to make more money and get better benefits in Baltimore than if they stayed at home. The 1,600-plus prospective officers will have to take an agility test and a civil service exam; those who are successful will also have to pass a background check.
Recruiting in Puerto Rico also helps ensure that the Baltimore Police Department has more Spanish-speaking officers, which is increasingly important as the city’s Latino population continues to grow.
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