Lake Charles police looking to fill eight open positions

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

Lake Charles police officials have decided to fast-track their recruitment process to fill eight open positions.

On Saturday, applicants can go to the Civic Center at 7:45 a.m. to participate in prescreening activities and physical ability

and psychological testing.

Cpl. Larry Moss, the Police Department’s recruiting coordinator, said the goal is to cut the hiring process from six months

to eight weeks.

“An individual who wants to be a police officer also needs a paycheck,” he said. “This way allows us the opportunity to conduct

the hiring process before they even take the state civil service test.”

Police officials want to bulk up their ranks ahead of the area’s economic boom. Police officers need to be in place ahead

of an influx of new residents to enforce the law, Moss said.

According to the city’s website,

starting pay for a police officer is $14.86 an hour, or $30,908, during

the first year. Officers

also get $150 supplemental pay ($1,800 annually) for the first

year of work.

After one year of employment, the pay increases to $39,227.72, with the addition of a $500-a-month supplement from the state.

Moss said applicants will have to run 800 meters and complete a certain number of situps and pushups within 60 seconds.

“Sadly, we lose 50-60 percent of our groups on the situps. It is a stumbling point for some folks,” he said.

After Saturday’s screenings, potential recruits will have until the following Wednesday to turn in their applications to the

Police Department, with interviews beginning April 8.

“The entire process is to find the cream of the crop,” Moss said. “Once they make it through the interview, they will have

a polygraph exam and background investigation done on them.”

Applicants offered jobs will then have to pass the state exam.

Once completed, they will train at the Police Department until enrolling into the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement

Training Academy for 10-12 weeks of training.

“We hope to get the best of the best. This is a job, not just a paycheck,” Moss said. “A person has to have the desire to

do the job. We’ve had some that wanted to do it, but unfortunately, the process was too long.”