If this tactic is successful in hiring officers for the main police station, it may be tried throughout the country.
According to the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, employment agency clerks are combing lists of 1,700 registered jobless people in Silesia to find suitable police candidates.
Some of the requirements: at least a secondary education, Polish citizenship and an unimpeachable reputation.
In addition, candidates must meet psychological and physical standards and have no criminal record.
A police career offers the advantage of early retirement ? as soon as 15 years. However, interest expressed at the unemployment meetings has been minimal so far.
In Katowice, only 20 people attended a meeting and only two expressed interest in a police career.
In Gliwice, police presented a special recruiting film, but three meetings attracted only 90 people. Unemployed Silesians are reluctant to attend the meetings and be identified for fear that if they refuse to apply for police jobs, they will lose their unemployment benefits and social insurance.
“I know from television and the Internet that the police are recruiting people,” said Marcin Tycfrom Wodzislaw Slaski, an unemployed graduate of Silesian University. “But I’m not interested in being a policeman. Low pay and outdated equipment at the police stations discourage me from taking a job. Politicians promise modernization of the police, but they have never kept their word.”
Another skeptic of the police recruitment campaign is Przemyslaw Koperski, director of the Employment Agency in Silesia.
“The police have to understand that the labor market has become a worker’s market,” Koperski told Gazeta Wyborcza. “Without increasing wages and improving working conditions, the recruiting drives won’t mobilize young people to wear police uniforms.”
Inspector Arkadiusz Pawelczylm, vice commandant of the police, says salaries are scheduled to rise.
“New recruits will receive about 2,200 zloty per month, an increase of about 500 zloty,” he told Gazeta Wyborcza.