STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford Police Department is looking for a few good officers.
Capt. Elizabeth Erickson, who is leading the department's push, said they will be looking to add 20 new officers over the next two years.
"This is a very worthwhile job. You make a difference in your community and in your life," she said. "So people who are looking for a great job in a great city who want good benefits and who want to make a difference should apply."
The current hiring list expires Nov. 6, so the department wants to ensure that as many candidates as possible apply. The applicants will be on the new hiring list, which will stay in effect for two years. The police department is working to reach out to as many people as possible, Erickson said.
"We want all the applicants we can get, but we are trying to diversify too and try to reach minorities and women in our recruiting," she said.
As part of the department's outreach to Hispanics, Erickson went Sunday to St. Mary's Church in Stamford, which has a large Hispanic population. This Sunday she will attend St. Benedict's Church, which also has that demographic.
Though the department is making an outreach to minorities and to women, she said it is also appealing to everyone, including military veterans.
She will also be attending a job fair in Norwalk on Thursday to make as many people as possible aware of the opportunity.
An applicant must be an American citizen, hold a valid driver's license, be a minimum of 20 years old and either have completed a high school diploma or a GED. A college degree is not a requirement, Erickson said. Individuals have to be at least 21 to be appointed police officer. There is no upper age limit to take the test.
The department wants as many people as possible to apply.
"We certainly want 500 to 700, at least. It is a challenging process for an applicant, but it is a worthwhile process. It is worth the effort," she said. "It is not quite as easy as people might think to become a police officer, but you have to start applying to start the process."
The first step is to earn the Complete Health & Injury Prevention test. That is an agility and physical ability test, and applicants must pass that in order to write the test.
The written test will be held Sept. 20 in a city school. After the test, applicants have an oral interview. The written and oral scores are merged to come up with the applicant's final score that goes on an eligibility list, Erickson said.
But it doesn't end there for the applicant, she said.
"Just because you pass the test and the oral (interview) it doesn't necessarily mean you are going to get through the rest of the process. There is still more to go than that," she said.
There is an extensive background investigation, a polygraph test, and medical and psychological testing, she said.
If an applicant successful navigates through that, then there is an interview with the chief and the police commission. Successful applicants receive a conditional job offer and are sent to a six-month term at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden.
After that, the newly minted officer returns to the department and rides with a training officer, she said. It can take at least a year, if not longer, before the process is complete.
"It's a long process. They don''t just give you a badge and a gun and say: 'go for it'," Erickson said.
The application deadline is Aug. 29. For more information, visit the police department's website.