Now is the time to apply to become an Erie police officer.

The city is reminding people that the testing process is now open, and they'd like to see more minorities apply for the job.

City police have focused on recruiting minorities to the force for several years, and now they're focusing more on targeting a specific group, military veterans.

They've identified more than 836 African American, and 168 Latinos and Hispanic veterans, who are living in the city.

The plan is to track them down, and encourage them to apply, "I think we have to be strategic in our efforts, and that's why we're starting with the veterans first. Because the vets have the 10 (veterans preference) points already, they have a skill set already, they have attention to detail, they have firearms skills, they have a mindset of discipline, so those are important to being a police officer or a fire fighter," said the City of Erie Community Liaison, Michael Outlaw.

The city has also recruited in Harrisburg, on military bases, community centers and churches.

And as Erie News Now reported last week, the city has agreed to have Mercyhurst University conduct their police testing, so it can be done every year.

Applications are available online at

The application process is open now and closes on June 15th, there is a $75 fee to apply.