CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in three years, Chicago Police are offering an exam for people who want to become officers.

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The written police exam will be in December and the department is accepting applications starting Thursday. The deadline to turn in applications is September 16.

The last time the exam was offered, in 2010, you had to be 25 to take it. As we have reported, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is lowering the application age to 18, so you can now take the test at 18 and become an officer at 21.

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“You know, people aren’t waiting until 25 to determine what they want to do with their life and right now as we’re calling people who are on the 2010 list, they’re turning us down because they’re already well on their way to another career,” said McCarthy. “So we’ve lost an opportunity in those four years to recruit people.”

McCarthy says he wants a “larger gene pool.”

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The application age had been raised three years ago by then Superintendent Jody Weis, to get more mature applicants.