MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of potential new Memphis Police officers stopped by Saturday’s Memphis Police hiring expo.

Thanks to money from the American Rescue Plan, MPD is able to offer new officers a $15,000 signing bonus and $10,000 in relocation assistance. WREG had a chance to speak to those potential officers.

“I actually wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting to see so many people come in so it is actually pretty cool,” Aaron Wilson said.

Many said the bonus is a big reason they are signing up to join the police force.

“I used to be a former cop in West Memphis and I saw the benefits and everything that Memphis had to offer so I came to see what it was like and what was going on,” Garrison Brown told us.

Chief Davis said they are looking for officers who can not only go out on patrol, but also those who will have of a community engagement role, and respond to non-violent crimes.

“We have calls that don’t rise to the level of urgency but that community member want to see a police officer not matter how big or small their issue, and we want to be able to provide that level of service delivery to our community,” Chief CJ Davis said.

Chief Davis said not only is she excited about the number of people who showed up, but she’s encouraged by the diversity of the group.

“You have Latinx community, you have Caucasians, we have African Americans, we have women, you name it. You are invited to join the Memphis Police Department. We want to be representative of the community we serve,” Chief Davis said.

The commitment to diversity was noticed by many of the potential recruits.

“I think it is very positive and I love to see it. To get more men out there, of course, we have men on the force. We need that backbone. But of course, the streets need to see women’s faces as well. We care about our city as well,” Amanda Glover said.

Many who came out say they also want the opportunity to help make their city safer.

“The thought of actually becoming MPD and making Memphis safer, it is actually pretty nice. Hopefully, it will be able to actually happen,” Wilson said.

“We just have to take accountability for our city to bring the best, and to have improvement and to actually want to be here,” Amanda Glover said.

For more information about police employment opportunities, visit their website.