By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As several local police departments are making difficult staff cuts, Philadelphia police are adding to their ranks with hopes of cutting crime in the city. Applicants attended a career fair at the police training center in Northeast Philadelphia.

The number of officers to be hired is still up in the air, though it’s believed they will add a few hundred in the next two years.

Soldier Mike Reyes hopes to be one of them. He thinks his experience in the army as well as his passion will help him stand out among thousands of applicants.

“Law enforcement is my thing. It runs in my family; uncles, aunts, my mom. So I have to get into it.”

Sergeant Roberto Aponte says opportunities for advancement make Philadelphia a desirable place to work.

“Over 6,000 people have applied so far. Of those 6,000, at least 1,300 laterals have applied with us, which means that they’re officers somewhere in the United States that have interest in coming with us.”

The starting salary for officers who graduate training is $45,000.

There is another career fair March 10th. But interested applicants that cannot attend the job fair can still apply and get more information, by visiting The actual deadline for all applications is March 16th.

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