Recruiting and hiring a constant at Boca Raton and other police departments

Attacks on cops haven't impacted applications
Posted at 7:22 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 19:22:58-05

No matter where they serve, police officers risk their lives. Despite the obvious danger, men and women continue to sign up, hoping to wear a badge.

More than 1,000 people have applied to be officers with the Boca Raton police department this year. That is good news because agencies across South Florida are hiring.

Detective Mark Horowitz doesn't solve crimes. His job is to find the men and women who work those cases for the Boca Raton police force.

Horowitz dreamed of becoming a cop after playing baseball in Hollywood's police athletic league as a kid.

“I wanted to be those guys, I wanted to live like they lived. They had fun at their jobs,” he said.

18 years later, Horowitz is still having fun. He’s spent the past two years recruiting and vetting potential officers. And there's no shortage of applicants. Even though only 1 to 2 percent will be hired.

“I will explain that this job can and possibly will take everything from you,” Horowitz said. 

This weekend showed how harsh the life of a police officer can be: four law enforcement agents shot, one San Antonio officer killed.

“This was nothing short of an assassination of a police officer,” said Chief William McManus from San Antonio.

When Horowtiz sets up his booth at job fairs, he makes sure aspiring cops know what they're signing up for.  

“Contrary to popular belief, I think right now is an amazing time to be a police officer,” he said.

And there are opportunities to join the force. Boca Raton created 13 new positions over the past two years.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office currently has four deputy positions open because of retirements.

Boynton Beach PD is hiring. Although the chief said you have a better chance of being accepted into Harvard University than earning a spot in the department. Its qualifications are so stringent.

In Delray Beach, the chief is looking to fill four newly created officer positions. That department sponsors a criminal justice academy at Atlantic High School. After graduating, students are certified to work as a dispatcher or community service officer and can work their way up to full-fledged officer.

Palm Beach State College’s police academy remains at capacity.

“We need great people to stand up and make this country and police work what it was and what it will be again,” said Horowitz.

The hardest case for him to solve is finding out who to hire.