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Las Vegas Police Target Chicago Along With Other Cities In Recruiting Potential, Current Officers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Potential recruits are looking to become officers, but not with CPD. Departments from around the country are using targeted tactics in recruiting from Chicago's police force.

CBS 2's Chris Tye asks how they're doing it and what CPD says they're doing to reverse the trend.

"I want to be a police officer so I can inspire and motivate."

But Chicagoan Omauri Patrick isn't signing up to one day join the ranks of Chicago's men and women in Blue. He's testing and soon applying to protect and serve 1,700 miles west in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recruiting at the O'Hare Hyatt Friday.

"What we want is people who are currently in law enforcement or who are thinking about managing their career in law enforcement to take a look at Las Vegas and understand the things we have to offer them."

Chris: Why wouldn't you want to be a police officer in, say, Chicago?

Omauri: Just less opportunity. I seen the opportunity, so I ran with it," Patrick said.

Others may be running from CPD opportunities too as Chicago Police attrition rates are up sharply.

"We usually have an attrition rate of 5-6%. We currently have like an 8% attrition rate."

Chicago's top cop Supt. David Brown says there is an urgent focus to fill those spots.

"We do have a dedicated recruiting team to fill our vacancies: they're recruiting every day, they're going to military bases, to job fairs, to community colleges, we're giving more in-person tests, we're giving for the first-time online tests," Supt. Brown said.

Chicago isn't the only place where testing is going on behind doors, tomorrow the Las Vegas Police Department moves their recruiting effort up to Minneapolis.

Minneapolis and New York, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. If you sense a trend in where they're targeting recruits, you may be on to something.

"We are targeting cities where we know there have been challenges with law enforcement not between line-level officers and brass more specifically between communities that are not supporting their first responders and those cities, yes we are targeting," said Lt. Richard Meyers, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Las Vegas has population explosion -- up 10% in the last decade while Chicago's was up 3%.

Supt. Brown says the grass isn't always greener in the desert, but job one may be changing the perception of candidates here at home.

"Because you don't see too many people of my color trying to be a police officer. They look at the police as enemies," Patrick said.


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