Last Modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:05 AM
The 12 officers that begin their careers today as Lake Charles policemen were chosen from a group of nearly 100, Police Chief Don Dixon said.
Dixon said the Lake Charles Police Department publicized the openings and received 96 applications.
From that group, LCPD officials deemed 14 fit for hire, meaning two are now on a waiting list.
“When you go from 96 to 12, you’ve got the cream of the cream,” Dixon said.
The chief said it will be three to four months before the new hires will be ready to patrol on their own.
“It’s going to take a while, it’s going to take due process, but we think we’ve got some really good hires, we really do,” Dixon said.
Dixon said when the department exhausted its list of possible employees who had passed the civil service test, it began contemplating ideas of how to seek candidates.
Cpl. Larry Moss came up with the idea of publicizing the openings through a media campaign then having the officers take a physical fitness test at the Civic Center.
While usually potential officers are chosen from candidates who have already passed the civil service test, LCPD created their own list of candidates and then had them take the test, Dixon said.
“To make a difference in anything you have to be a little proactive, so we did a little media blitz,” Dixon said. “We did this deal at the Civic Center and lo and behold it worked. Hopefully that keeps us ahead of the game where through our normal process we can stay full.”
The new hires will be working with LCPD’s training division before going to the police academy in about six weeks.
Dixon said the department had been operating 26 officers down, either because of illness, injury, officers leaving or other reasons.
“The good news is that brings us to our complement of 189 for the first time in a long time,” Dixon said. “Knock on wood, we’ll have these 26 back on duty and we’ll be in pretty good shape.”