Sean McCullough has undergone two weeks of intense hands on training on top of the 23 weeks at the police academy. But he's not your typical cadet. He's 44 years old and just entering this profession.
"It is such an important time for law enforcement and to maybe to give the a public a good idea of what is really going on," said McCullough.
McCullough is no stranger to the police department. He repaired cruisers for years. But he's recently been paying closer attention to radio calls coming in. It drove him to want to do more.
"It kind of gave me a little insight," said McCullough. "We see a lot of things on the news that are not happening everyday."
But it is those headlines and the images of large scale protests having a major impact.
"It does seem like it is harder to find a quality candidates," said Training Sergeant JD Lofton.
An ABC poll found from Big Apple to small town USA applications are down at some agencies by 90%! There are several factors according to the report.
The three biggest contributors. Those "caught on video" confrontations, intense scrutiny of an officer's response, and ambushes of police.
And ironically, good unemployment rates are also affecting recruitment.
With median salaries starting at $39,000 some have said that's too small of a salary to put your life on the line.
McCullough noticed something else many of the baby boomers retiring. It's why for the past two years St. Pete boosted recruitment efforts.
"So it is important to get new officers to back that up. So they can fall right in and get the training they need to be on the streets also," said McCullough.
And that's why St. Pete has also quadrupled training
"If we got down time we are training," said Sgt. Lofton.
McCullough also has a unique motivation. His daughter just graduated and entered law enforcement. This time, he's following her footsteps