VPD looking for a few good men and women

Published 10:54 am Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Vicksburg Police Department is preparing to hire patrol officers.

Those who think they can handle the many responsibilities of keeping the community safe should pick up an entry level packet available in the Human Resources Department of the City Hall Annex, 1415 Walnut St.

Packets are due in the same office by 4 p.m. Friday.

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“We are always looking for a few good men and women,” Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

He said the department currently has 12 positions open for people who show integrity when dealing with the public. However, Armstrong said the 12 positions would only be filled if he finds the right, viable candidates.

Last time the department hired, only four officers were chosen to fill the 16 available positions at that time, he said.

“We’ve had 25 packets picked up so far, but not all of those have been turned back in,” Armstrong said.

Those who turn in their packet will participate in Entry Level testing and be assigned a number that will identify them throughout the testing process. The agility test will be given at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, on the Vicksburg High School track and the written test will be given at the police department once the agility test is complete.

“Law enforcement is a career where we have to be very careful in who we hire and make sure we get the best we can find,” Armstrong said.

He said the agility test will include having to run one and a half miles, pushups and sits ups. The written test is given by an outside agency, but he said it could include a computer portion in addition to written questions on math and different scenarios.

After the testing, potential officers will undergo extensive background checks, psychological examinations and drug screenings.

He said on the front end, the pool is large and then it will narrow based on past run-ins with the law and performance in past jobs.

“It’s a lengthy process,” Armstrong said. “We are making sure we get the best candidates.”

In May after the chosen officers have been hired, they will be sent to the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl for 12 weeks and 480 hours of curriculum.

“We’ve had success with those that go to the academy,” Armstrong said.