By Jason Allen

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Patrol cars positioned along key highways in Fort Worth aren’t there for police to watch drivers, but for drivers to pay attention to police.

The cars all carry a “Now Hiring” sign in the windshield — part of the department’s increased recruiting effort in the New Year.

The department has as many as 60 vacant positions. Fort Worth added 35 new positions to the police department this year. It’s the first of what could be an annual increase in positions, after a staffing study indicated hundreds of new officers would be needed in the next decade to keep pace with population growth.

The patrol cars, along with social media videos on the department’s channels, are part of an effort to cast a wide net to attract candidates.

“We’re looking to get to the number that the city allows us to have, to serve our city, to be able to answer calls, to have less victims, to deter crimes, numerous things,” said department spokesman Buddy Calzada.

Calzada said the department is highlighting funding, upgraded technology and tools to potential candidates, along with a broad general support of the department by the public.

The more visible recruiting effort is expected to continue through February, and the duration of the online application process leading up to a test for new applicants in March.