Tuesday and Wednesday this week myself and about a dozen other department members interviewed the final candidates for our next recruit class. The candidates have endured testing, interviews with community members and have progressed to the final phase.
During last years hiring process almost all of the candidates had military experience. During this process we did not have as many with military back grounds but, there were about eight who had been pastors or religious leaders at a church. While there is usually one or two candidates with this connection in each process, I have never seen such a high percentage with religious backgrounds. It is an interesting connection.
The 12 finalists now face medical screening and in-depth psychological screening before they they enter the academy. Once in the academy they face 11 weeks of rigorous training before they can hit the streets. After graduating from the academy they hit the streets in a training program that lasts up to six months before they are certified for solo patrol. The entire process from the time of application to patrolling on their own takes about 14 months!