COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The number of recruits at the Colorado Springs Police Academy took a slight dip this year compared to 2016.

Now, CSPD officers are hoping the 2018 Academy has a bigger turnout.

Officer Nicholas Ryland is a recruiting officer for CSPD. He said recruits are often people in the service transitioning from serving our country to serving the community.

“The military folks that are getting out are aware of what sacrifices there are, because they are in the military,” Ryland said.

Ryland said others that apply are willing to endure the challenges police face.

In Colorado Springs, Ryland said, there’s a very small anti-police movement.

“I’ve been flipped off, I’ve been spat upon, I’ve been yelled at, cursed at, all that stuff, but in this community it doesn’t happen very often,” Ryland said.

He said in most cases, if that happens, it’s a misunderstanding of what police had to do, and everything is done to keep officers safe.

“We want to go home at night. We want to be safe. We want to keep the community safe, so there’s certain things we have to do,” Ryland said.

He said recruits go through a lengthy and rigorous application process, and are trained very well.

To apply for the Academy, you cannot have been convicted of a felony ever, or any misdemeanors within three years. There are some misdemeanors, like domestic violence convictions or dishonorable discharge from the military, that will disqualify you no matter how long it’s been.

You also cannot have used marijuana within the last 18 months or any drugs within the last three years.

All applicants must be 21 years old by date of hire.

CSPD will have an open application period running from April 24 through June 13. You can also fill out a job interest card online.