Police trying to get word out on entry-level police exam


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The police department is putting on a full-court press to get the word out about its upcoming entry-level civil-service exam for patrol officers.

Staff Inspector Lt. Brian Butler has teamed up with Jonathan Huff, head of the Youngstown Civil Service Commission, and has spoken to community and church groups about the exam, which will be offerred at 10 a.m. March 5 in Cushwa Hall at Youngstown State University.

They also have promoted the test heavily on social media, including the department’s Facebook page.

Both say the reason for the publicity is because the number of applicants declined when the last test was given in 2014. Then, there were only 100 eligible candidates left after the exam was given, in sharp contrast to the exam the year before, when 257 people took the test.

Butler and Huff said increased scrutiny of police within the past year because of a series of officer-involved shootings nationally has been driving down the numbers of applicants who are applying for police jobs.

“We want to be more aggressive [in recruiting] because of the national trend,” Butler said.

Being a part of the department is a good way to correct any wrongs someone might think there is in policing, Huff said.

“If you’re unhappy with the police in general, we invite you to become part of it and change it,” Huff said.

“This is your community and your police department,” Butler added.

All candidates must be at least 21 and have a valid driver’s license to fill out an application. Applications are available today through Feb. 26 either on the city’s website – www.cityofyoungstownoh.org – or at the CSC offices on the seventh floor of city hall, 26 S. Phelps St.

Those who pass the written test will be given a month to prepare for a physical-fitness test. After that, results from both tests will be tallied, and the results will be known about three months after the written exam is given, Huff said.

Huff said law enforcement is a “noble career,” and offers a good starting salary and benefits for someone just starting out. The starting salary for an entry-level police officer is $30,754.

Butler said the department also wants to draw more minority and female candidates to the force in order to better mirror the population of the city they will be serving.

From the last exam, Butler said 19 officers were hired off the list of applicants who passed. He said the department expects to have immediate openings for four to six new officers before the end of this year and up to eight officers could be hired from this list.

The list of applicants is good for one year after the first applicant who passed the exam is hired, CSC officials said.

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