Short-handed KPD looking for recruits

The Kingman Police Department is looking for qualified applicants who want a career in law enforcement.

Currently, there are nine openings on the police force.

However, three officers are now going through the police academy in Phoenix.

Two cadets are expected to graduate in December and one in January.

"We're definitely short-handed," Butler said.

"But I also worry about state and federal budget cuts."

The department has assigned officers to gang task forces like Gang Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission or a drug task force, Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team.

However, there are rumors that because of state budget cuts, KPD's one officer assigned to the GITEM task force might be reassigned back to KPD.

Bullhead City and the Arizona Department of Public Safety also have an officer with GITEM.

GITEM is state funded while MAGNET is federally funded.

Some federal budget cuts could also divert money away from drug enforcement to homeland security in its war on terrorism, Butler said.

"Homeland security and drugs go hand in hand," he said.

Starting pay for a Kingman police officer before entering the academy is $29,457 and after graduation, the pay goes up to $31,337, which includes shift pay.

After a year on the job, the salary goes up to $32,093.

Uniforms, firearms and other equipment are paid for by KPD.

An officer is also permanently assigned a patrol car to take home.

There is no maximum age requirement.

In fact, KPD is interested in older applicants, especially those with a military or federal background.

KPD Code Enforcement Officer Carl Allen went through the academy several years ago at age 50.

Another officer, Dennis Gilbert also joined the force at a late age.

KPD also encourages women and minorities to apply.

With a growing Hispanic population in Arizona, being able to speak Spanish is a plus, he said.

Butler said one myth about being a police officer is the physical ability.

Women, even those who are slight of build, are encouraged to join.

Applicants do have to pass several physical tests including an obstacle course, climbing over a chain link fence and a block wall, a timed sprint and a 165-pound dummy pull.

A general knowledge, written test is also given.

An applicant would be tested on memory, vocabulary skills and map reading skills.

The applicant will then go before a board of police officers for an oral interview.

If an applicant passes all the tests, they would be required to take a physical, a polygraph test and a psychological exam.

If the applicant passes the tests, he or she would be sent to a 16-week police academy.

After passing the academy, they would ride along with a training officer in the field for another eight weeks or longer depending on the new officer.

The academy is five days a week for the four months and trainees can go home on the weekend.

To be a police officer, an applicant must have a high school diploma or a GED and must be at least 21 years old at the time of graduation from the academy.

The applicant cannot have been convicted of a felony.

Openings within the department could include positions as a patrol officer, detective investigator, school resource officer, motorcycle officer, bomb squad technician or bicycle officers.

Applications can be picked up at KPD located at 2730 E.

Andy Devine Avenue.

Interested recruits can also speak to a police officer to get an idea what the job entails.

For more information, call the department at 753-2191.