Chicago Police lower age minimum for entry exam - Dallas News |

Chicago Police lower age minimum for entry exam

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Police have reduced the minimum age required to take the department's entrance exam.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy decided to reduce two age requirements before the next police exam is administered.

To take the test, an applicant can be 18-years-old. To be hired as a police officer, the person must be 21. Right now, the requirement is 25-years-old.

A spokesman for the department says the move would attract a wider field of applicants, get candidates interested in law enforcement at an early age and increase diversity.

In the past, the department said maturity was important when it set the age requirement at 25.

The police union supports the change, saying Chicago needs to attract qualified candidates before they graduate from college, not after.

Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the department has hired 429 officers, to keep up with attrition. But some aldermen say the city should have hired a thousand new officers.

Thousands of people take the test, which is offered every few years. The next one isn't scheduled but is supposed to be given sometime this year.

The new age requirements will be in place for that next test. Already, the police union is offering courses to help prepare candidates.

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