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NYPD Making New Recruitment Push, Tackling Anti-Police Sentiment Head On By Urging Applicants To 'Be The Change'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's a big push from the NYPD to recruit new police officers.

Enrollment opens Wednesday to sign up for the test in June.

In this time of anti-police sentiment, officials admit they have their work cut out for them.

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes report, a diverse chorus of officers have one message in a new recruitment video: "Join the NYPD."

The video is just one way the NYPD is getting the word out.

"Be the change. Change a life. Save a life. Live a life of meaning," the NYPD's John Miller says in the video.

The NYPD is urging New Yorkers to "be the change" they want to see in the department and to sign up for the police test in June.

"I couldn't possibly begin to put into words how special this job is," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Shea says he knows these are trying times for law enforcement. They're trying to break through to potential candidates by talking candidly to those not only worried about anti-police sentiment from the public, but also those who've had negative interactions with police themselves.

"What I realized is, I can make a difference if I'm on the inside," First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said.

The NYPD is a "majority minority" department, meaning 52% of members are minorities.

Still, Commissioner Shea admits getting African American men to become cops is tough.

Police Officer Matthew Jackson says he was encouraged to sign up from Chief Of Department Rodney Harrison, who took him under his wing.

"I love when I'm patrolling and people walk up to me and say, 'Thank you. Thank you, officer, for being here,'" Jackson said.

"If you want to help people and work with people, then we want you to be part of this organization," Harrison said.

Test registration runs from April 7 through the 27th. It's open to anyone 17 and a half - 35 yeas old. The starting salary is $42,500.

If you pass the exam in June, you move forward in the hiring process, which includes, in part, a medical exam, psychological exam and a background investigation.

The NYPD hopes to start the first academy class from this pool of candidates next spring.

In addition to their social media and internet campaign, the NYPD has also been reaching out to clergy leaders for help  and visiting transit hubs to encourage people to take the test.

To sign up, CLICK HERE.

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