The Chief
November 15, 2002

High No-Show Rate for Police Test Continues

By Reuven Blau

Turnout for recent police officer tests continue to run far below average, Police Department officials acknowledged this past week. For the tests held Oct. 25, 26, 29 and Nov. 3, roughly 26 percent of the 29,696 applicants showed up.

Since 1986, turnout for police tests has averaged 66 percent. Only 31 percent turned out to take the last test held in June, however.

Recruitment experts cited the recent advent of applying for free on the Internet as a key factor in both this year’s application surge and the low turnout. A police source involved in recruiting suggested that news of the recent hiring freeze also played a role in deterring candidates.

Capt. Martin Morales, the commanding officer of recruitment, noted that the department this year has tested roughly 27,000 candidates, with three exams given in New York City and seven held out of state. The department last tested that number of candidates in 1993, when over 38,000 applicants took the exam.