Annual Joint Police Test

An advantage of the Cooperative Emergency Response Program - Police described elsewhere in the SHACOG program list is that the monthly meeting of the Police Chiefs provides a forum for discussion of various police-related public safety matters.  One of the topics that arose was the difficulty being encountered by individual police departments attracting a sufficient pool of qualified applicants for entry level police officer positions.  Analysis revealed that the apparent limited group of interested candidates was applying and testing for all available positions in member municipalities simultaneously.  From the applicants perspective, this was a redundant, expensive and time consuming process; from the municipalities’ perspective, this did nothing to generate additional prospects.

Extensive review, which included meeting with Civil Service Commissions to solicit their input, resulted in the conclusion that offering a single testing process on a regular basis would produce a larger pool of qualified candidates to potentially fill all police officer vacancies in member municipalities.  At the same time, a unified approach would reduce the cost of all participating municipalities by both sharing the hard costs, such as advertising, and avoiding the soft administrative costs required to effectively manage the application and testing process.  It would also relieve financial pressure on the applicants, many of whom were pursuing their first police position, by having to pay only one application fee.  After being presented with the details, and having the concurrence of the member governing bodies, municipal managers and secretaries, Civil Service Commissions, and Police Chiefs, the SHACOG Board of Directors formally authorized the undertaking of this program in 2003.

Services provided by SHACOG for each test include determining prior to each test which municipalities want to participate in that testing process (municipalities may opt in and out based on their individual needs), preparing the application to take the test for distribution, placing the required advertisements, receiving the completed applications to take the test, making all arrangements for both the written and physical agility tests, coordinating the scoring of the written examinations, developing by rank the candidate list for each municipality participating in the testing process, notifying the applicants of their scores from the written examination, and disseminating each list to the appropriate Civil Service Commission or municipality for further processing according to the rules and regulations of that Commission or municipality.  Having proven its value, this test has been administered annually by SHACOG since 2004.

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