Police Department gears up for first hiring event 

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Suffolk Police Department is looking for new members willing to serve. SPD will be holding its inaugural All-Day Hiring Event at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Suffolk Police Department Headquarters at 111 Henley Place. The event will allow those interested in joining the team to start their application process in a “one-stop, fast-track setting.” The final registration will be taken at 2 p.m.

Suffolk Police Department Sergeant of Professional Standards Michael Swinney provided details on what attendees can expect during the hiring process.

“They can expect to go through a majority, if not all of the testing process that’s with the Suffolk Police Department. All of the testing can essentially be done in one day for our regular new recruits,” Swinney said. “There [is] some more background investigation that has to be done, but you can expect to do the Physical Ability Testing, which is an obstacle course. It’s a very straightforward process … Then you move on to the Sleigh Push, where you push the sled and then you do the dummy drag. You’re pretending that you’re pulling someone or a person. After that, you can do your written testing, which is an entry level test.”

Email newsletter signup

Swinney says that applicants will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the process to police officers, as well as benefits. He also detailed the Oral Board portion of the hiring process.

“You have three people. It’s going to be members of the police department. They’re going to ask you a series of questions that are not trick questions at all. They’re not questions you would need to have extensive background in law enforcement to be able to answer. These are questions that anybody who wants to be a police officer can answer,” he said. “The people who are on the panel, they’re not judgmental. They want to see you succeed just like everyone else does … they’re another person just like you. They’re not there to intimidate you, and they’re not there to trick you on any questions. They want to see you succeed.”

Swinney emphasized that despite the more conveniently made process, the police department still retains an extremely high standard for accepting new law officials.

“Just because we are trying to get people quickly through the process, we’re not going to lower our standards to move quickly and have people go through the process faster. So our standards are still going to be high.”

Swinney also detailed a few specific hiring qualifications for applicants.

“When you start the hiring process, by the time of your application, you have to be 20 and six months. You have to your drivers point balance, you can’t have a reckless driving ticket within the past year. If you look on our website, we do have the automatic disqualifiers that will disqualify you from being in the process and we also have our qualifiers,” he said.

18+ adults will have different opportunities to participate with SPD, such as the Explorer Program and administrative positions. Swinney also detailed that qualified candidates will receive incentive packages.

“For certified laterals,or certified police officers, we’re offering a $10,000 signing bonus. For new hires, it’s $5,000,” Swinney said. “For certified laterals, you receive that after you complete your field training. For new hires, you receive that after you complete your field training as well, but you have to go through the academy, and then you can go through that.”

Certified laterals will receive 40 hours of recognition leave, while new hires will receive 20 hours. Retirement and health care benefits will also be available for candidates, along with a take-home car policy of 50 miles (from the headquarters to up north, excluding North Carolina). A benefits representative will be available for questions at the event. Swinney gave a final message to future applicants.

“If you want to join the police department and you’re interested in it, I encourage you to come out on Friday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come out and talk to one of our recruiters. Come out and talk to any of the officers that are here, we’ll be glad to talk to you, and if that’s something that you’re thinking about doing, we’ll love to have you here at Suffolk Police Department. We’ll love to have you here to join our team,” he said. “Also, maybe you’re on the fence about, maybe you don’t want to do law enforcement, but you want to do communications, which is our dispatchers. Or you want to be administrative assistant or records technician, still come out and talk to us. We do backgrounds for all those positions, so we’ll have the answer for all the questions you may have, and we can get you started on that as well.”

He continued.

“There are different aspects that you have to go through and different processes, but we can definitely get you set up with an application, and you can ask all the questions you have, and we can answer them for you,” Swinney ended.