BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Wanted: a few good men and women. The Baltimore City Police Department is focusing on adding hundreds of new officers this year.

Marcus Washington follows the newest applicants through the beginning of the process.

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The road can be long, rough and rugged, but many of the applicants say they are up for the challenge.

The Baltimore City Police Department is looking for new officers. In the lobby of police headquarters, 12 applicants are taking steps as they take this road to the badge.

“What we are trying to do is hire 300 police officers in 2015,” said Sgt. Valencia Nock, Baltimore City Police Department.

Washington: “You say 300, and that sounds like a lot of officers, new officers. But you say that’s not?”

Sgt. Nock: “It’s not really a lot. What we are experiencing are a lot of officers are becoming eligible to retire. So what we want to do is keep up our tradition to make sure that our patrol staffing levels are up to par so that officers are out there on the streets.”

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Another goal for the department is helping new officers better connect with the community.

“I’ve always felt like the police get a bad rep, and there’s a lot that are doing a lot of good. And I want to be a part of that,” said Elizabeth Gardner, applicant.

Applicants look to join the current 2,800 officers patrolling Baltimore City streets. But first, the civil service test.

Right now, the applicants are behind closed doors taking the test. It should take about two hours. They must pass 70 percent of the test before they move on to the next step.

“Got to get through here, then sky is the limit,” Elmanno Joseph said.

The complete process can take anywhere from three to six months. Anyone who is interested in applying can do so every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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Starting salary is a little more than $46,000 a year, along with a 25-year retirement pension.