STOCKTON (CBS13) – One stay-at-home mom’s solution to her boredom is to try and get a job with the Stockton Police Department as one of hundreds joining to make the streets safer.
Hundreds of people began the process to join the force that patrols some of the toughest streets in the nation. Despite the city’s soaring crime rate, about 1,300 people showed up for a shot to get hired with the Stockton Police Department.
“I’m excited,” said Jenna Larking.
Larking is chasing her dream of becoming a Stockton police officer. The 40-year-old mother of two is ready to leave her job as a stay-at-home mom and vie for an open police position.
“Now I’m just getting bored, so I want to get back into it,” said Larkin.
She spent more than a decade in the Air Force and hopes her military law enforcement background will land her a job.
A mass exodus of seasoned officers left the cash-strapped department short-handed. So, the city needs to hire 17 officers before federal grant money kicks in to pay for more positions.
“Once we hit that magic number, we’ll get 17 more,” said Officer Joseph Silva.
Because officers packed up and left for other cities, the bankrupt city ended up with $1.8 million in the bank.
Despite soaring crime and a record-breaking homicide rate of almost 70, applicants like Larkin are ready and willing to work the dangerous streets.
“It does kind of scare me, but I think being on my toes and not being complacent is the best thing,” said Larkin.
An impressive turnout, police say they had almost double the amount of applicants compared to the last hiring round.
Applicants who pass the obstacle course also have to pass written and psychological tests.