Gwinnett County police are hoping to fill as many as 50 of the department's 115 openings for police recruits during a hiring event in Fort Lauderdale this weekend.

It's the fourth time the department has gone out of state for recruiting and the first trip to South Florida.

"Our first priority is getting quality applicants," Officer LeVar Greene told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie. "We have many things to offer. Relocation is one of them. Our new salary is another. We may not have the highest salary, but we have one that's very competitive."

The hiring event will be held March 3 and 4 at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus.

It will be held in the Carl DeSantis Building (3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314) and will run from 8:00am to 6:00 pm both days.

Gwinnett already draws more applicants from South Florida than any other area outside of Georgia.

Officer Greene himself moved away from Hollywood, Florida, to join the force in Gwinnett.

"Cost of living got me here initially," said Greene, who now works as a backgrounds investigator.

Greene said English is a requirement, but he hopes to find more candidates who speak Spanish or another language.

"To be bilingual or more is a great component because Gwinnett County is a melting pot," he added. "We have many different ethnicities and languages here."

Local candidates are always encouraged to apply, but Officer Greene said standards are so high that only 3 percent of applicants get hired.

The starting salary for a police officer trainee is $40,960 with a bachelor's degree.

After two years, that can jump up to $52,500.

Candidates have to pass a tough physical fitness test that includes running 1 1/2 miles with a time of less than 14:45, doing 29 sit-ups in a minute and bench-pressing 72 percent of your body weight.