Massive police hunt for Victorian recruits

Victoria Police is combing through the details of thousands of people from the past seven years who have shown an interest in joining the force as part of a massive recruitment campaign.

More than 40,000 people from 2016 who registered for a careers information session or signed up to learn more about the police fitness test will be contacted about applying to join the force.

Anyone who applied but was rejected will also be contacted, as will those who withdrew applications. People will get an email or phone call to check whether their circumstances have changed.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the force wasn't lowering its standards but would offer additional support to interested recruits, including those previously rejected.

"It may have been a fitness matter. It may have been something to do with the online examination," he told reporters on Monday.

"And we can say 'well, this is where you fell down ... you need to pick up on that'."

The recruitment drive is a first for Victoria Police and coincides with a policing careers expo on Wednesday at Kensington Town Hall along with the university offers period.

The expo will be the first since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Victoria Police recruitment division Acting Superintendent Charmaine Hosking said the start of the year was a great time for people to evaluate their career options and for police to get out and talk to those keen to join the force.

She said police looked for people with life experience to fill many roles, but younger people could also be considered, especially if they had done volunteer work, played community sport and demonstrated leadership qualities.

Applicants don't need an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.

Mr Patton said there was funding to recruit 502 police officers and 50 protective service officers during the next two years after losing staff to COVID-related issues and retirement.

"People have reassessed post-COVID and some have left us because of that," he said.

"The reality is though over 60 per cent of those who've left us haven't left because they're disgruntled with us, it's because they've reached retirement age."

A trial starting this month streamlines the recruitment process so applicants can complete exam testing online.