If you've always wanted to serve the community but don't have the police experience to back it up, Grand Rapids might have a program for you.

The Grand Rapids Police Department plans to sponsor recruits at Grand Valley State University's Police Academy in May 2017, according to a news release.

Approved participants will be paid a starting police recruit officer's salary during the 16-week program. Thereafter, recruits will have an additional eight weeks of training at the department before becoming a Grand Rapids police officer.

Anyone interested is asked to apply online by the end of the day Thursday, Oct. 6.

Be prepared for a lengthy hiring process, police say. GVSU's Police Academy is in session Monday though Friday, with the occasional night and weekend class. Candidates must attend each session of the 16-week program.

"Do you have the passion for public service and the heart of a guardian, but do not have any police experience? If so, the Grand Rapids Police Department may be interested in hiring YOU!" the release reads.

Anyone with questions can call 616-456-3330 or visit the department's Facebook recruiting page.