Dallas police job applications surge after fatal ambush attacks

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Police Job Applications Surge In Dallas

DALLAS, July 22 (Reuters) - The Dallas Police Department, which was struggling to recruit officers, has seen a surge in job applications after the ambush shooting this month that killed five officers and brought global attention to the Texas city, officials said on Friday.

During the 12 days following the July 7 shooting, the department said it got 467 job applications, a 344 percent increase compared with the 136 in a similar period in June.

That is an average of 38.9 requests per day to become a police recruit compared with an average of 11.3 submissions a day for 12 days in June.

In recent months, the police department has had to cancel academy classes because there were not enough applicants.

Potential officers in the north Texas region have often opted for departments in fast-growing cities surrounding Dallas where starting pay is typically higher than in Dallas.

Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath:

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Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath
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Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath
Brent Thompson, of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, one of five officers killed in a shooting incident in Dallas, Texas, U.S., is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters July 8, 2016. Brent Thompson via LinkedIn/Handout via Reuters
This is Brent Thompson with his grandson. He's the first DART officer killed in the line of duty. https://t.co/XQuoF8xnCZ
Love you brother. Couldn't be prouder. We'll see you again. #PrayForDallas https://t.co/1oqeBxai7x
AP identifies Officer Patrick Zamarripa was one of the slain Dallas police officers... https://t.co/QxX4gHxfHu https://t.co/eZFlsm6KXX
Chicago Police Sgt. Charmane Kielbasa places a note of support on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Emergency responder vehicles sit outside of the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Investigators leave the home of Micah Xavier Johnson in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Texas, Friday, July 8, 2016. A Texas law enforcement official identified Johnson, 25, as the sniper who opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Noelle Hendrix places flowers near the scene of a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Five red roses, a bouquet of flowers and a note of support for the Dallas Police Department lies on the bronze medallion at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)
Five red roses are seen on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
FBI investigators look over the crime scene in Dallas, Texas, U.S. July 8, 2016 following a Thursday night shooting incident that killed five police officers. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
WASHINGTON, USA - JULY 8: The American Flags surrounding the base of the Washington Monument, with the US Capitol in the distance, are flying at half staff after President Obama ordered them to be lowered in honor of the five Police Officers killed by a gunman in Dallas the night before in Washington, USA on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Dallas Police Chief David Brown put out the call for new recruits at a news conference last week where he spoke of the deaths of five officers and the actions of others to save lives at a rally in the city in the incident that marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

"We are hiring. Get out of that protest line and put an application in," Brown said.

U.S. police forces have been the target of protests following the fatal shootings of black men by patrolmen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside St. Paul, Minnesota, that were caught on video.

Further, the series of high-profile police killings of black men in the past two years have sparked the most intense debate on race and justice in America in years.

"It's a shame it took a tragedy to get people to apply, but glad to see so many people willing to serve their community," Dallas resident Ben Shaw wrote on the department's Facebook page on Friday. (Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by Eric M. Johnson)

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