TAMPA, Fla.—The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has been flooded with hundreds of applicants who want to become deputies after it let loose on some of its hiring standards.
The sheriff’s office has been getting so many applicants it started holding physical fitness testing classes on Saturdays.
10News got an exclusive look at what dozens of applicants went through on one of the new Saturday classes.
Emily Anderson, 21, said it was always a dream of hers to become a law enforcement officer but never had the chance to try out because of the previous hiring standards.
Anderson has tattoos, one of the many hiring standards the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office changed to help fill positions.
“I have plenty of them on me. It's changing times and I like that they're progressing,” Anderson said.
Before the change, ink on the neck or hands used to be off-limits.
Anderson's goal of becoming a K9 officer and serving her community is now becoming a reality.
Richard Lozada is with the sheriff’s office and said the applicant pool has nearly tripled since the changes.
“To illustrate the interest in this career field. Right now, in the academy we have 42 cadets, which is the largest we've ever had in the history of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office,” Lozada said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office loosened up on its hiring standards with education requirements, tattoos and drug use.
A previous felony conviction of any kind still an automatic disqualification. Any misdemeanor convictions involving perjury, false statement, or domestic violence within a lifetime are also disqualifying.
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