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Macomb Police Department looking to hire and diversify

Rich Egger
Macomb Police Chief Jerel Jones

The Macomb Police Department has an opening for an entry-level officer. It will test candidates on Saturday, June 18.

Applicants will undergo physical agility testing at the Macomb High School football field, and those who pass will move on to take a written test on the same day.

Chief Jerel Jones hopes for a diverse pool of candidates. He said the department is diverse in terms of gender but needs to be more diverse in terms of race.

“We want to diversify this department as much as possible so that the officers that serve for our community are able to relate and also look like the community that we’re serving,” said Jones, who noted he is currently the only Black person in the department.

The application packet can be found on the city’s website or you can pick up a packet at the department. It must be returned a week before the testing.

Jones said it’s challenging for departments across the nation to recruit and retain officers. He said there is a lot of stress in law enforcement, which he said has been under a microscope the past few years.

“Law enforcement officers are people, and every day is a different day on the job. It can be quite challenging at times. We require a lot out of our officers,” Jones said.

He said an additional part of his challenge locally is selling applicants on Macomb.

“We want people to live in our community and grow with us. But we’re a smaller, rural community, and many of our candidates prefer to be in a metropolitan area in most cases,” he said.

Jones said a lot needs to be done to make the department and Macomb in general appeal to people from diverse backgrounds, but believes they’re making strides in the right direction.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from  readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.