A flood of diverse candidates are applying for patrol jobs with the New York Police Department, which has seen its hiring budget dwindle due to the impact of the recession, the New York Times reports.

Applications to the department rose 54 percent in 2008 as more minority candidates, higher-educated refugees from the financial industry, and women sought jobs with the nation's largest police force.

The department will reach 34,304 in 2010 through attrition, about 6,000 fewer than in 2001. Starting pay for an NYPD officer has risen to $41,975 from $25,100 in 2005.

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