SAN DIEGO - Through demonstrations involving the San Diego Police Department's K-9 unit, officials are hoping people will become interested in joining the force.
At their law enforcement expo in Miramar on Saturday, the department gave hundreds of people a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a part of the SDPD. And they need the help.
The department has a budget for a little more than 1,900 police officers. Right now, they are short 136 of that goal.
Assistant Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman says it is a competition among the agencies to get people to sign up and stay in.
Last month, San Diego City Council approved a $2 million program that will go towards recruiting for the department, keeping the rest of the money in officers' pockets.
Zimmerman said, "Prior to that, we had no money for our recruiting efforts and so with that money that was allocated … today is a benefit from that."
Andrew Trout is about to leave the U.S. Navy. After looking at all of the other law enforcement agencies, he says the San Diego Police Department seems like the better opportunity, both in pay and location.
10News learned the starting pay for a SDPD recruit is $23 an hour. For the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, which is their top competitor, it is $22.
For those interested in applying to the San Diego Police Department, there are computers at the expo so people can sign up for the next step, which is the written test.