More than £1,300 is spent on marketing every Metropolitan Police community support officer (PCSO) post, new figures have revealed.
PCSOs do not have the same powers of arrest as police officers
Data released under a Freedom of Information request showed £3,311,164 was spent on advertising and marketing for PCSO posts in the year 2006-07.
In that period 2,500 officers were signed up to work in London.
The Met said: "Advertising is essential in order to recruit the right people to serve the community of London."
London PCSOs work in four areas - fighting crime and anti-social behaviour, public safety, transport and parks - and are designed to reassure communities by bolstering police numbers on the frontline.
However, some have criticised them for not having the same powers of arrest as police officers and undergoing a shorter training period.
Last year's recruitment drive resulted in the number of PCSOs increasing from 2,308 on 31 March 2006 to 3,682 a year later.
A spokeswoman for the Met said: "This was an exceptional year for recruitment in which the MPS recruited several thousand staff to a new role.
"As a result we are now able to deliver Safer Neighbourhoods, two years ahead of schedule.
"We take professional advice to ensure cost-effective advertising in all recruitment campaigns ensuring best value for money in the current market place."
The recruitment of PCSOs is part of a strategy to give every one of the 624 wards in London its own dedicated policing team.