The help wanted sign is out at the Terre Haute Police Department. Right now, T.H.P.D. is looking for men and women who want to join the force.
Making it through the application process is just one of the many hurdles facing future police officers.
Filling out an application is the first step. As simple as that may sound, any written mistake will count against you.
“Pay attention to detail. That’s a big thing when you’re a police officer. People take that into account when they’re looking at the application,” Public information officer, Ryan Adamson said.
With the Terre Haute Police Department recruitment process up and running like it is every two years, more than 100 applications are expected to come through. From there only 1/3 of candidates will make it to the hiring list that stays in effect for two years.
“The more people that apply, the better it is for everybody because we can hopefully pick the best of the best and we want the best to apply here and we want them to be police officers here,” Adamson said.
The best of the best requires a high school education. G.E.D. equivalent or higher. Military training might also help. But it all breaks down into three major components: a written exam, physical agility test and oral interview.
“Most of the initial phases and paper work took about 6 months and upwards about a year until I made their hiring list,” patrolman, J.R. Gibbs said.
A recent hiree, Gibbs just got the hire call in December. Since then he’s worked alongside more seasoned law enforcement as a probationary officer. He looks forward to next December when he can work independently.
“It’s not the easiest process to go through. There’s a lot of steps you have to take and there’s a lot of waiting and for a guy who’s dream it is to become a police officer it seems like it takes forever. But everything is very structured and they make it as seamless as possible and you know what to expect,” Gibbs said.
The passing score for the written exam is 70… no easy feat. One of the things officers say they look for in candidates is their humility and their interaction with community members.