Knoxville Police debuts new recruiting website, accepting applications

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Police Department unveiled its new recruiting website on Thursday.

The new recruiting-specific website, www.joinknoxpd.com, is part of KPD’s comprehensive marketing and branding campaign to enhance the department’s recruitment efforts. 

The website was designed and created with input from law enforcement personnel. The goal of the website is to more clearly communicate the process and benefits of becoming a KPD officer or employee, speak to target audiences, and provide applicants more direct access to recruiters.  

“Some other professions offer challenges, rewards, and the chance to serve the community,” KPD recruiter JaJuan Hamilton said. “KPD offers all of these and more, and we are excited to show our potential candidates their possibilities through the new website.” 

“The city is eager to connect with service-minded individuals and provide information about the opportunities available at KPD,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “This new police recruitment website consolidates a lot of helpful information and provides direct access to KPD recruiters.” 

Other changes the department is making to make it easier to join the force include:  

  • Shortening the process from application to start of the Police Academy to 4-5 months.
  • Revert to designated time periods when applications are accepted.
  • Focus on lateral entries – officers who have served at least two years of uninterrupted service at another law enforcement agency.
  • Creation of a recruitment liaison team.
  • Focus on and actively recruit in predominantly Black and minority communities and neighborhoods  

“I am excited to see the department embrace new and innovative ways to recruit our newest team members,” Hamilton said. “The recruiting section is challenged, yet committed to increasing our staffing and maximizing our available resources. We recognize that this will not solve all of our challenges in recruiting but believe this is an important first step. 

“We have recognized that change begins with acknowledging areas that need improvement, listening to internal and external stakeholders, and paying close attention to the recruitment market trends and the best way to tap into them.” 

In line with the recommendations, the Knoxville Police Department will be accepting applications for police officers, lateral hires and police cadets through the month of October in preparation for the next academy class in March.

As of October 1, 2020, the Knoxville Police Department has 371 sworn officers, which includes the 18 who graduated from the Training Academy on Tuesday night. The KPD is authorized to carry 416 sworn officers. In addition to that current shortage, around 50 long-tenured officers have the ability to retire in the near future.  

“Police departments nationwide face many challenges in recruiting, and we have not been immune to that at the Knoxville Police Department,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “We feel confident that this research-guided campaign will amplify our efforts to recruit and attract as many qualified and diverse candidates as possible, especially from our own community, and to sustain those efforts well into the future.”  

Those interested in applying are encouraged to visit the new website, call 865-215-7111, or email policerecruiter@knoxvilletn.gov.  

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