Jonesboro Police Department searches for officers

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A local law enforcement agency is searching for some good men and women.

Recruiting Officer Sgt. Cassie Brandon of the Jonesboro Police Department said they're looking.

Brandon said that search is a continuous process.

"We test twice a year for police officers," Brandon said. "We go through the application process twice a year. We try to keep an eligibility list that has eligible applicants that we can hire as we need. So, we can fill in spots as we lose people through retirement or if they get a job somewhere else. Our list from the spring testing, we've pretty well exhausted it."

Brandon said they need to be ready to fill empty positions as quickly as possible.

"We're starting to see more retirements in the department," Brandon said. "And we won't test again after this until next spring. This will be sometime in April or May. And we need to be able to fill positions up until then. And even if we test in April or May we won't be through with the process where we can hire from that pool of candidates until probably sometime around August. Because it takes some time to get people through the process. It's pretty extensive."

Brandon said the first step is passing some basic qualifications.

"You have to meet the basic state qualifications," Brandon said. "You have to be 21 years old, no felony convictions, no convictions of possession of a firearm such as domestic violence and things like that. You have to have a valid driver's license, a high school diploma or GED and you must be a U.S. citizen."

The next step is a little longer.

"Our process is pretty extensive," Brandon said. "Once somebody applies we'll do a preliminary background and make sure there's nothing that's immediately disqualifying on them and then we'll get them put through our testing. So, the first test they would take is a video based test that tests situational judgment and there's also a reading and writing component to it. We give them all the information they need to kind of know what to expect for that. And they can also purchase a practice test to help prepare if they choose to do that. From there, if they pass that test and they go onto the physical agility testing."

Sgt. Brandon said from there is a very thorough background investigation that includes a polygraph examination.

If you make it this far, then you've made it to an interview.

"If they make it through all those steps," Brandon said. "Then we do an interview. Then after the interview, the Interview Board will compile their Eligibility List. And they'll put them in the order that they think the chief should hire. That doesn't necessarily mean the chief will hire in that order. But the Interview Board generally does rank them from who they think is the best candidate to someone who passed the process, but maybe they need a little more time before they're ready."

Brandon said she's enjoyed her years of service with the Jonesboro Police Department.

"From personal experience," Brandon said. "I've worked here for about 13 years, and I don't know of another job like it. You do have an opportunity to help people. To be involved and make somebody's day maybe a little bit better than it started out. And you work with a close-knit group of people. We're all one big family. And we really enjoy working together."

Sgt. Brandon said for those applicants who get hired, much of the cost is covered.

"As far as the department goes," Brandon said.  "Training is paid. It's some of the best training you'll get in the state. We'll put you through here at the department and then send you to the academy. You don't have to go to the academy beforehand. All your equipment, gear, uniforms and stuff is paid for. You don't have to pay for any of that."

Brandon said becoming a part of the Jonesboro Police Department is an opportunity to help your community in ways you can't even imagine.

"All in all," Brandon said. "It is a great career to be involved in. You get to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself. Which I know a lot of people are looking for a way to have an impact and this is a great way to do it."

For more information about the Jonesboro Police Department and the application process, click here.

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