The recent targeted shootings of officers across the U.S. could be hurting police recruitment.
9 officers died in the line of duty in July alone.
And the danger officers have faced in recent weeks even prompted one local cadet to call it quits.
"I can't tell you how many times that I've been in fear of my life," said Chief Tony Holloway of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Holloway says putting on the badge comes with inherent risk.
"If you're going to worry about your safety, then again, this is not the profession to be in," said Holloway. "Because we don't know. My guys and gals can't tell you what the day will hold."
A string of deadly attacks on cops may be contributing to a nationwide drop in officer applications.
Some cities, like Seattle, are experiencing a 90% decrease.
Records show a hole within the St. Petersburg Police Department - 531 officers are on-duty for 562 spots.
ABC Action News has learned, a cadet quit this year one month before becoming an officer because the cadet was worried.
"That person probably sat down and talked to their family members and looking at what's going on today and decided they didn't want to be in this profession."
With dozens of open positions, the department is adding an incentive for any officer who recruits a successful candidate.
"If you bring somebody in, they make it, we'll give you a day off with pay," said Holloway.