So you’re 21 to 35 years old and you want to be a Warwick cop.
The pay looks good. A first year rookie makes $39,033 and for someone with four years experience, the pay is $62,919. There’s health care and a pension.
But can you qualify to be one of Warwick’s finest?
Have you got a minimum of 60 college credits from an accredited college or university or proof of five years of military reserve services, or three years of active duty? There’s more to it than that. Just to be placed on the recruit list you’d need to pass an extensive background test, pass a written exam and complete a physical agility test, including 24 pushups in a minute, running 1.5 miles in 12:58 and completing 35 sit-ups in a minute.
Even after all of that, there’s no guarantee you’ll make the list.
In its 2014 recruitment drive the department is also looking for men and women “who demonstrate good judgment, an even temperament, respect and appreciate diversity, show creativity and problem-solving skills, think on their feet, handle pressure and show leadership skills.”
In the words of Col Stephen McCartney Friday morning – and he admits to borrowing the phrase from a branch of the military – “we’re looking for a few good men and women.”
Mayor Scott Avedisian joined the chief to kickoff the department’s recruit drive starting April 1 and running through the month of May. The objective is to create a new list of 75 to 100 qualified recruits the department will be able to draw upon over the next two years to fill vacancies. So, even making the list isn’t a guarantee of getting a job should there be a vacancy. The fact is that there are about 40 on the current list that expires shortly. Those recruits will need to re-apply and meet all the qualifications, if they want to make the new list.
In remarks at headquarters, Avedisian pointed to the history of the department as the first in the state to gain accreditation, which happened in 1979. He said the department is continually recognizing and responding to trends in the city and that residents feel safe.
“It is one of the best police departments in the nation,” he said.
To draw out applicants, McCartney said the department would advertise in a diversity of media, including print, the Internet and social media. He expects there will be a fair number of applicants from other law enforcement agencies looking to get into Warwick. On average, 5 percent of the department’s officers are transfers from other departments, McCartney said.
Captain Thomas Hannon, who is coordinating the drive, expects somewhere between 250 and 300 applicants that will then get narrowed down to the recruitment list.
The department is budgeted for 167 officers but is currently at 164. Two recruits are undergoing training at the Police Academy. Upon passage of this 22-week program they become probationary officers for a year. Only after completing the probationary period that includes evaluations and retaining if necessary are they eligible to be sworn in as permanent police officers.
Additional information is available by calling the department at 468-4323 or visiting the website at www.wickpd.org.