Dover Police seminar to offer tips on getting hired as officer

DOVER — Often due to retirements, the city police force is continuously looking for new officers and hasn’t been at full authorized strength for awhile now.

Anyone interested in becoming a candidate to fill the void can attend the Dover Police annual “How to Succeed in the Hiring Process” seminar on Saturday, Jan. 19.

The session begins at 9 a.m. in the department’s public assembly room and doors will be closed at that time with no latecomers allowed in.

According to spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman, “information about the hiring process, application assistance, specialized units of the agency, and a tour of the police department,” will be provided. No application is needed prior to the event at 400 S. Queen Street and any questions can be directed to Cpl. Caleb Rich at caleb.rich@cj.state.de.us or 736-4461.

The seminar has been presented since at least 2004 and likely many years prior to that, police said.

There’s no dress code requirement in what’s described by Cpl. Hoffman as “more of an informal, learn about the process course.”

“It’s a great recruiting tool,” he said. “It helps applicants understand the lengthy process than can take a year or longer to go through. Learning about the process will help applicants be patient through it all, but it also will help other applicants decide whether this career is something they feel is right for them.”

Automatic disqualifiers for applying include age (must be 35 years old or younger when hired), criminal and/or drug histories. A high school diploma or GED are required, and college experience is helpful

Dover PD receives roughly 175 to 200 applications annually, down roughly a third or more from years ago.

“Compared to prior years, the level of interest has dropped,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “It is still a job that is in high demand, but it has been a few years since we have seen 300 plus applicants.”

Female candidates are encouraged to attend and add diversity to a profession that’s traditionally involved mostly males.

“We are really starting to see larger amounts of female applicants, which is great,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “The value of having a strong female presence is important as every department’s goal is to mirror the community they serve.

“At the end of the day, the best candidates are chosen, but having a large pool of minority and female applicants is important to have a diverse police force.”

Attracting prospects

The department also seeks job candidates through social media marketing, paid advertisements and college fairs and competition with other law enforcement agencies to find the best prospects exists.

“I think it is fair to say that applicant numbers are down across the board, so finding the best candidates for your agency is challenging,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “Many applicants apply to multiple agencies, so there is some level of competition in recruiting.”

Dover PD’s planning and training unit will be running the seminar and Cpl. Hoffman said, “There will also be recent academy attendees to discuss life in the academy and as a new officer.

More information on the process is available online at doverpolice.org/hiring-process/.

There’s a lot to like about joining the city police force, according to Cpl. Hoffman.

“The job itself pays well, has great benefits, multiple units to serve in, and a great retirement pension,” he said.

“However, a police career is much more than that. It is a career that allows you to serve and give back o your community, make a lasting impact on the City of Dover, and help others.

“It is a fast paced, exciting, and unpredictable job that keeps you on your toes. Law enforcement isn’t necessarily for everyone, but it’ a great career for those who are looking for that kind of work.”

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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