The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched a new recruitment campaign, for up to 600 new student officers.
The PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne hailed it as "an historic day" for the force.
The launch was attended by the leaders of both the DUP and Sinn Féin - First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.
I look forward to the day when the PSNI is reflective of all the community that it serves.
Nationalists, Women, LGBTQ+ and ethnic minorities are all under-represented and this needs to be addressed as a priority for the Chief Constable, the policing board and political leaders. pic.twitter.com/p2gt90r41a
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) February 4, 2020
Chief Constable Byrne said: "This recruitment campaign will complement the work we are doing to invest in our digital delivery, people and culture, thereby making us more responsive, visible and victim-focused.
“Becoming a police officer gives you the opportunity to tackle crime, take criminals off our streets and keep our communities safe.
“I hope we will have a new, more modern uniform in place by the summer of 2020, and that all officers, including new student officers, will be wearing it."
He added: “I have been a police officer for 36 years and I have always loved it. It is a challenging and rewarding career where no two days are the same.
“As a police officer, you have a real opportunity to serve, protect and support your community. This is particularly true here in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
“I want our service to be representative of the communities we serve. It’s important for sustaining public support and public confidence."
Delighted to have the support of both @DUPleader and @moneillsf alongside members of the @NIPolicingBoard at today’s recruitment launch. Strong attendance from civic, church and community leaders. An historic day for @PoliceServiceNI #JoinPSNI pic.twitter.com/MxW76eMUZH
— Simon Byrne (@ChiefConPSNI) February 4, 2020
The PSNI currently has a number of under-represented groups - including females, Catholics, young people, ethnic minorities, working class communities and members of LGBT+ communities.
The targeted multi-media advertising campaign will run for three weeks until February 25th.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday February 25th at 12.00pm.