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Police Recruitment

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Police Recruitment
Geoffrey St. Clair
May 14, 2013
Rachel Quintero

Police Recruitment There are quite a few requirements to the recruitment process to become a police department. The entire process can take anywhere from about 4 months to over a year. There are many things that can affect how long the process takes and there are many steps. This paper will discuss the hiring process for the San Antonio Police Department as well as the training programs and career development programs it offers to the officers that are currently employed. Just like most jobs the hiring process for the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) starts with a written application. This application can also be completed online however it must be printed out and turned in to the police department in person. The application consists of basic background information like: full name, date of birth, address, and also past employment history and drug or crime history. Once the applicant has filled out the application and turned it in they will be scheduled to take the written exam. Applicants must pass the written exam with a minimum score of 70 percent. On the same day as the written exam if the applicant passes, the next step is the physical fitness exam. The fitness exam consists of push-ups, sit-ups, running, climbing a five foot wall, and dragging a 180 pound dummy 20 feet. There are minimum standards and according to the "San Antonio Police Department Careers" (2013) website the physical fitness test is a significant struggle for many applicants. Once the physical fitness test has been completed successfully an applicant moves on to the background investigation. The investigation looks at the following things to determine if the applicant is suitable for the department: personal history and character, employment history, military history (if applicable), driving record, financial responsibility, criminal activity and drug use. If the background check comes back clean the next step for the applicant is a formal oral interview. This interview is conducted by three experienced SAPD officers and evaluates the applicant’s decision making, judgment and reasoning, problem analysis, problem solving, interpersonal skills, public relations skill, community service orientation, oral communication, planning and organizing, composure, conflict resolution, team orientation, decisiveness and thoroughness ("San Antonio Police Department Careers", 2013). If selected to move on from the oral board then the applicant does the polygraph test. The reason for the polygraph is to determine of the applicant has been truthful and can be trusted to tell the truth. After the polygraph comes the psychological exam. The psychological evaluation is used to determine if the applicant can mentally handle the stress that come with police work. After the psychological evaluation come the last exam which is the medical exam/physical. If the doctor that is chosen by the City of San Antonio determines that the applicant is in good health and has no physical limitations that would keep him/her from performing their duties then there is only one more step. The last step is for the chief of police to review the applicants file and either approve the applicant to become a cadet and assign him/her to a class at the police academy or deny the applicant. Now that the hiring process has been covered and the applicant has been hired, the applicant needs to know about the training he/she will receive and what career advancement he/she can expect. The first training that a new hire of the SAPD will receive is the police academy. The police academy here in San Antonio is not a live in facility and the cadet will attend training Monday thru Friday from 0745 until 1630. The academy focuses on three major areas of learning. The first area is academics. This portion of training prepares the cadet to be a police officer by teaching them the basics of law and also police procedures and ethics. The second portion of training is physical fitness. The SAPD academy uses a program called “cross fit” and a running routine to build endurance. The physical fitness is also where cadets learn the basics of combatives or ways to defend themselves in close quarters situations. The third and final area the academy focuses on is skills training. This portion is where the cadets learn how to drive emergency vehicles in any road conditions; they learn firearms training, and also specialized training like breaching a doorway or riot control. Once a cadet graduates from the academy and becomes a police officer there are a lot of opportunities for advancement within the department. There are many different specialized units that an officer can join and each one comes with specialized training. Some examples of these units are: bomb squad, motorcycle, recruiting, SWAT, executive protection, bicycle, homicide, DWI, training, K-9, intelligence, hostage negotiation, and what is called eagle which is the helicopter unit. There are also promotion opportunities as well to advance in pay; a regular patrol officer is eligible for promotion for detective after five years ("Sapd Career Advancement", 2013). Overall there are a lot of opportunities within the San Antonio Police Department. The hiring process can be a long and drawn out process, but once an applicant completes it and becomes an officer there are endless possibilities. Being a police officer in San Antonio can prove to be a challenging yet rewarding career.

San Antonio Police Department careers. (2013). Retrieved from
SAPD career advancement. (2013). Retrieved from

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