BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — 500 men and women are fighting for one of just thirty slots at the BRPD Training Academy. Jason Lee is one of them, after 10 years in the Army National Guard he's ready to start giving back in his old North Baton Rouge community.
"I've been seeing a lot of bad things throughout my childhood and now I actually have a chance to make a change in my neighborhoods, and that's my obligation. And working for the police department, especially in Baton Rouge, will give me an opportunity to do that," explained Lee.
Lee and other officer hopefuls are put through several tests, mental and physical, before they can even be let in to the training academy.
"We always lose a lot at physical assessments, they have to be at a 20th percentile bracket. We ended up, yesterday we had 39, 21 passed. Today we started with 31 had 19 pass, so those are typical numbers really," said Sgt. J.D. Leach.
While training officials say it's important to be able to scale fences and jump through windows, that's not the only thing they're looking for in the perfect candidate.
"Well the physical we can work on, we've got five months in the academy and we're going to get them where they need to be. So really it's more about honesty, integrity, those are the two main things we want out of our applicants," explained Leach.
Lee said if he makes the final cut, he is hoping to be an officer and a role model for other young men in his community.
"To make a big step like this in my life, to do some good, knowing I am from a bad area, hopefully it'll give them the motivation to try and do good in school and let them know there is a chance and you can change for the better," said Lee.
The new class will start their academy training in June, they will train there for five months before hitting the streets as new officers.