If you aren't careful, you might join the wrong police department. The Miami-Dade County (Fla.) police force has a recruiting booth this week at the Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Capitol.

In addition to about 25 who voiced interest in a Florida career, it attracted two potential applicants yesterday who thought they were seeking to join the D.C. police department.

As part of a broad outreach to attract minority applicants, the Miami department has been advertising on black-oriented Washington radio stations this week during the annual meeting of the National Black Policeman's Association at the Hyatt Regency. It previously sought recruits in Detroit, New York and Boston.

Miami Police Sgt. Aaron Campbell, head of the recruiting branch and a native of Miami's racially troubled Liberty City neighborhood, said applicants must be at least 19 years old (compared with 21 in the District) with a high school diploma or equivalency, and be of good character. The starting pay is $16,926 (compared with $16,356 in the District).

Miami will administer a civil service examination to qualified applicants of all races at the hotel Friday, and Campbell said the passing score on the exam, which stresses vocabulary, reading comprehension and mathematics, is 70 percent. In the District, with a test involving some of the same skills, Mayor Marion Barry recently reduced the passing grade from 50 to 43.7 percent and decided to offer jobs to the winners on the basis of a lottery, held Monday.