UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – University City is hosting a hiring event for police officers and dispatchers.

University City is among other departments nationwide facing a shortage of officers.

“We’re probably down between six to 10 officers right now with an 82-man department,” said Capt. Fredrick Lemons of the University City Police Department. “That’s a lot, but we currently have four recruits in the academy right now. And we’re looking to sponsor more recruits in the future.”

The average starting salary for a University City police recruit is approximately $58,00-59,000; for police officers, it’s $65,000-$68,000; maxing out around $82,000. Dispatcher salaries are approximately $49,000.

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University City will cover the cost of police academy training for recruits. Applicants who plan to attend the event Saturday will be required to complete a written and physical exam.

Lemons said now is a good time for men and women to consider a career in law enforcement.

“Even in a time like this, when we’re going through COVID, there’s a lot going on in society,” he said. “We need qualified candidates. We need people who have a desire to serve their community.”

Anyone interested in applying can report to Heman Park Community Center Saturday, Nov. 5, at 9 a.m.

No law enforcement experience is required, and the department will match pay for officers making a lateral move from another police department.