APD begins aggressive recruitment campaign - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

APD begins aggressive recruitment campaign

March 28, 2006

Albany -- The new Chief, James Younger, moved three full-time police officers off the streets and onto a recruitment team. Now their sole job, along with several part-time civilian and police employees, is recruiting new officers to the force.

The Albany Police Department hopes to bulk up the thin blue line. The department needs to fill nearly 40 vacancies, and Chief James Younger says he has a plan to do it. "In order to get more people, we have to put more effort and resources into recruiting."

Resources are low now. APD only had one full-time recruitment officer. So Chief Younger organized a recruitment team, made up of three full-time police officers and an administrative assistant. Their job will be to recruit potential officers and get them through training and into patrol cars as quickly as possible.

Younger said, "If the process takes too long, quite often the applicants have multiple applications in. It's the agency that responds to them the fastest, that is the agency successful in hiring them."

And agencies across the state and country are fighting for the same applicants, like Cedrick Crockett. The recent Albany State graduate is one of four trainees, who recently passed the police academy. "I thought getting into the police force would be a great opportunity. Just getting out of college, I needed some experience," said Crockett.

He hopes to find a life-long career at APD. "When I first got here, I had a lot of negative comments about the department. But as I've been here, I've seen totally different. I've seen people working hard to make changes in the areas that need to be changed," Crockett says.

    • APD Facts-
  • The starting salary at APD is just over $23,000.
  • APD Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • They must be at least 20 years old, a U. S. citizen, and have a valid driver's license.
  • Applicants must pass a series or background checks, a polygraph, psychological and physical agility tests.
  • Qualified candidates must attend and graduate from the police academy.
  • Then, trainees take three weeks of in class training and ride with a training officer for at least three months.
  • After passing an interview with a review board, the trainees are then allowed to take over a beat.
  • The entire process can take up to nine months, but Chief Younger hopes the new recruit procedures will shorten that.

To attract more applicants like Crockett, the force will begin advertising across the nation in newspapers, professional magazines and on radio and TV. The recruitment team will go to high school and college career fairs, searching for potentials.

And a team of officers in various specialties, from investigations to SWAT, will help recruit too. "The reason why this diverse part-time team is important, is so that when potential applicants ask about specific specialties, we will have people who have experience if those specialties and can answer their specific questions," says Chief Younger.

APD is also offering all city employees $250 bonuses if they bring in a new officer. Younger plans to ask city commissioners to beef up the starting salaries and benefits package. "I'm going to present a case that our recruitment package needs to be more competitive, and I'm going to present to them documentation to support that."

The recruitment efforts will cost the department and the city big bucks, but Younger says it's money well spent, if the vacancies are filled, and the streets of Albany are safer.

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