BPD recruiting new class of officers

By TAYLOR

MURCHISON-

GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Bristol Police Department is beginning its recruiting process in the hopes of filling three immediate vacancies, as well as to screen individuals for possible openings in the future.

Lieutenant Stephen Tavares explained, “We develop a list off of a written and oral exams, and those lists are good for two years… So, an individual will apply, they’ll have to get a CHIP card, a physical fitness assessment, and once they have that, they show up to the written exam with their card to show that their physical fitness assessment has been completed. They’ll take the written exam, should they pass the written exam, they move onto the oral board, which consists of members of the Bristol PD and the City personnel department.”

Should the recruit pass the oral board, they are added to the list. It is developed by averaging scores, and considering veteran points, which are for veterans who have “completed a minimum of 90 days of active military service with an honorable discharge or a discharge under honorable conditions.”

Tavares explained the previous list consisted of 83 people, and that they always hope for large numbers.

“Because the background process is rigorous, between the polygraph examination, the background, talking to former employers, things of that nature, we lose a percentage of people in that background process,” said Tavares. “And that’s not to scare anybody off, that’s just to let people know who reads this and aren’t applying, that we take the hiring of police officers very serious. I don’t think there’s many jobs out there where you are subject to a polygraph examination, getting in the fine details of your life – mistakes and things we’re not proud of – but that’s what it takes to hold our integrity, to serve the community the best we can.”

The position is entry level, meaning the recruit would be required to attend the police academy, a 28 week process. From there, the recruit would progress to field training, in which they would be paired with three field training officers, or FTOs. This program takes about 14 weeks, and is where recruits begin to learn what Tavares considers the “ins and outs”.

“In that program, they learn the ins and the outs, they build on what they learned in the academy, apply it in real life situations, they are graded – they’re rated everyday by the FTOs, they do what’s called a “daily observation report”,” said Tavares. “[This] process is very important, because we have to see and gage how that recruit is progressing, how they’re applying what they learned: it’s a real picture of ‘can they do the job?’ So, they’re not certified as police officers until they complete the 400 hours of the field training program.”

BPD is looking for candidates that want to “protect and serve”.

“We want someone who is willing to be active within the community, all aspects, as far as active with religious groups, active with kids, active in neighborhoods, be a problem solver, we’re looking for someone who definitely wants to give themselves, as well as working and earning a living, but give more of themselves to the city,” said Tavares. “And, we’re always looking to diversify, we want as many different perspectives and people employed here as possible, and that’s where we do our best to reach out and expand our community inside the building to better serve.”

Tavares said that if you want to be able to make a positive impact and a difference in your community, that you should consider police work.

“We often see people at their worst, but we have an opportunity to better that bad situation, and make connections with people that are heartfelt and they remember forever,” said Tavares.

Tavares said the projected academy dates will begin in October, which is why they’re beginning their testing process in July.

“We like as much time as possible because the background is so important, but, we think with this time frame that we have now from July 14, to possibly the second week of October start date, will be adequate for us to find quality candidates that we’re looking for,” said Tavares.

The application deadline for the written exam and CHIP testing is Saturday, June 30. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and be United States citizens. To fill out the application, visit the city website, www.bristolct.gov.