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KPD debuts new recruiting website, accepting applications for March Academy

The goal of the website is to more clearly communicate the process and benefits of becoming a KPD officer or employee and connect with applicants.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department officially debuted its new recruiting-specific website on Oct. 1 as part of a comprehensive campaign to enhance the department’s recruitment efforts. 

The website was designed and created by Robin Easter Design with input from KPD personnel, according to a release from the department. The goal of the website is to more clearly communicate the process and benefits of becoming a KPD officer or employee, speak to target audiences and provide applicants more direct access to recruiters.  

“Some other professions offer challenges, rewards, and the chance to serve the community,” KPD recruiter JaJuan Hamilton said. “KPD offers all of these and more, and we are excited to show our potential candidates their possibilities through the new website.” 

KPD said the website was one part of a series of recommendations from Ackermann Marketing & PR and Robin Easter Design to help with reaching new recruits.

The department said following these recommendations it has:

  • Shortened the process from application to start of the Academy to 4-5 months. 
  • Designated time periods for when applications will be accepted
  • Enacted a communication strategy at specific points in the process to engage applicants, prevent dropouts and encourage viable candidates to reapply.  
  • Put a focus on lateral entries, officers who have served at least two years of uninterrupted service at another law enforcement agency 
  • Created a recruitment liaison team, which would supplement the KPD’s recruitment efforts by maintaining contact and developing relationships with individuals who are in the process of becoming KPD officers.
  • Put a focus on actively recruiting in predominantly black and minority communities and neighborhoods, primarily in Knoxville as well as surrounding areas  

“I am excited to see the department embrace new and innovative ways to recruit our newest team members,” Hamilton said. “The recruiting section is challenged, yet committed to increasing our staffing and maximizing our available resources. We recognize that this will not solve all of our challenges in recruiting but believe this is an important first step.”  

KPD said it entered into a contract with the two Knoxville firms, Ackermann Marketing & PR and Robin Easter Design, in January 2020 after City Council approved funding for a $100,000 marketing and branding campaign. The goals were to enhance the department’s already-existing recruitment efforts, increase the number and diversity of applicants and increase the number of hires by using research-driven strategies.  

As of October 1, the Knoxville Police Department said it has 371 sworn officers, which includes the 18 who graduated from the Training Academy on Tuesday night. The KPD is authorized to carry 416 sworn officers. In addition to that current shortage, around 50 long-tenured officers have the ability to retire in the near future.  

“Police departments nationwide face many challenges in recruiting, and we have not been immune to that at the Knoxville Police Department,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “We feel confident that this research-guided campaign will amplify our efforts to recruit and attract as many qualified and diverse candidates as possible, especially from our own community, and to sustain those efforts well into the future.”  

KPD is accepting applications for police officers, lateral hires and police cadets on October 1-31 in preparation for the next academy class in March. 

Those interested in applying for any of those positions should use the new website for links to apply and comprehensive information regarding the process, benefits and contact information. You can also call 865-215-7111 or email policerecruiter@knoxvilletn.gov.  

“The City is eager to connect with service-minded individuals and provide information about the opportunities available at KPD," Mayor Indya Kincannon said. "This new police recruitment website consolidates a lot of helpful information and provides direct access to KPD recruiters."