Albany Police Department Chief John Proctor has been traveling to recruit quality candidates for openings at the APD. (May 23, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. -- Police Chief John Proctor has given the go-ahead to 16 potential new officers for the Albany Police Department, with at least 21 more to come, officials say.
Proctor and his recruitment team have been traveling to spots like Columbus and Dothan, Ala., looking for a "few good people," with quality the prime objective, Phyllis Banks, a spokeswoman for the Albany Police Department, said.
"Chief Proctor and his team are looking for career-minded officers," Banks said, "people who want to stick around and be a part of the community."
According to Banks, the initial application is just a beginning. After interviewing with Proctor, officer hopefuls must pass a "cognitive exam," which rates the applicant's ability to think, reason and remember. If the applicant does well, he or she is allowed to take an agility test. A passing standard is required for both exams if the applicant is to continue the process. In addition, a recruit must have a high school education or GED and no felonies.
Prospective officers attend APD's two week "pre-academy" to demonstrate their capabilities before the 11- to 12-week police academy at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. After that, new officers are paired for three months with a field training officer, who will further educate and train the recruit, Banks said.
The road to a career in law enforcement is not an easy one to travel. According to Banks, from more than 200 officer applications, only 19 were granted interviews and job offers were made to 16.
"From the application stage to becoming a full-fledged APD officer is a process of about one year," Banks said.
Officials say the APD is currently budgeted for 214 officers, and the additional 21 recruits will bring the department to that level.
The starting salary of an APD officer is about $33,000 annually, Banks said.