Police Officer Hiring and Recruitment Epd 602.0

Police Officer Hiring and Recruitment Epd 602.0


31, 32
Chief Stephen Walker




This general order establishes the policy, procedures and process for the recruitment and selection of police officer candidates.


The Department seeks to identify and employ the best potential police officers available.

The Chief is responsible for managing this officer hiring and recruitment. The Chief or a designee is responsible for the internal processing of all employment applications within the University Park Police Department.

This program accepts Candidates and specifically seeks diversity in the recruitment and hiring of officers. Recruitment goals are established in an effort to reflect the demographics of the communities that we serve. The design provides a personal approach to the application and hiring process by establishing a direct contact between the Department and the Candidate, which is maintained throughout the pre-employment screening process.

The Department will use an efficient, effective and fair selection process. Each component of the process will be valid, useful and non-discriminatory.


It is the responsibility of all Department personnel to assist in the recruitment effort by providing information to possible Candidates upon request and assisting as necessary with recruiting efforts. Whenever possible, personnel fluent in the community’s languages and aware of the cultural environment will be actively included in recruitment activities.

1. All employees assigned hiring and recruitment duties will be knowledgeable in personnel matters, i.e. Equal Employment Opportunity, as it relates to and affects the management and operations of the agency and Candidate investigation procedures.

2. Upon receipt of formal applications, all Candidates will be informed in writing about the selection procedure, the expected duration of the process and a copy of the Town’s policy and procedure regarding re-application, and reevaluation of candidates not hired. The Chief and/or a designee will review all applications for eligibility. They will notify Candidates about corrective actions and rejections, and maintain all eligible applications for the next available hiring date.

3. Officers assigned to process Candidates will be available to Candidates throughout the pre-employment screening process to answer any questions that they may have regarding their status, and the process, and will maintain contact from the time of initial application to final employment dispositions.

B. The Chief is responsible for the coordination of the recruitment and selection process. The Chief or designee will be responsible for the advertising of all position vacancies. The Department’s job announcements will be advertised through electronic, print or other mass media. Recruitment notices for sworn personnel will include:

1. Description of the duties, responsibilities, requisite skills, educational level and other minimum qualifications or physical requirements;

2. The statement that the Department is an equal opportunity employer on all employment applications and recruitment advertisements; and

3. Official application filing deadlines.


A. All elements of the announcement, interview and selection process will be administered, scored, evaluated and interpreted in a uniform manner within the classification.

B. At the time of their formal application, candidates for sworn positions are informed, in writing, of:

1. All elements of the selection process;

2. the expected duration of the selection process; and

3. the Department’s policy on reapplication.

C. Any Candidate not eligible for hire will be notified in writing. Any Candidate not hired or eligible for hire on the basis of an interview or background investigation will be informed in writing.

D. Under the supervision of the Chief, officers trained in the collecting of required information will be assigned to conduct background investigations of eligible Candidates.

E. Prior to a polygraph test being offered; the Candidate will be provided with a list of areas from which polygraph questions will be drawn. Polygraph examination results will not be the single determinant of employment status.


Announcements concerning police officer openings will include a description of duties and responsibilities, job prerequisites, including those mandated by the state, and physical requirements. Those seeking employment will be given an application packet, consisting of the Town Application for Employment, a description of the employment process, disclosure authorizations, and a job description. The process description will describe the following two-phase process.

A. Phase I:

1. The application is received by the Department. Only original supporting documents will be accepted for review. The receiving employee will review the same for authenticity. The original documents, except transcripts, will then be photocopied, and the originals will be returned immediately to the Candidate.

2. Within 10-working days from receipt, the application is reviewed by the officer assigned to conduct the background check (“Background Investigator”). The Candidate is notified in writing of any missing documents or failure to provide original documents. The documents must be submitted to the Department prior to the Candidates taking the oral board.

3. The Background Investigator will cause a preliminary background check to be done, including:

a. Criminal history

b. “Wanted” status

c. Driver history and valid license.

d. A Statement of Employability (EPD Form)

A Candidate who fails to meet initial qualifications will be notified in writing within 30-days. The Candidate cannot reapply until the qualifications are met. A Candidate not currently licensed to drive, will be notified of the need to possess a valid driver’s license to proceed with the employment application.

4. Qualified Candidates will be notified in writing 2-weeks prior to their scheduled interview. Candidates will be instructed to arrive 1-hour prior to the scheduled interview. During the 1-hour period, Candidates will be instructed to write a 1-page paper discussing why they want to be a law enforcement officer. This paper will be provided to the orals board, who will also evaluate the Candidate’s writing skills. All Candidates will be notified in writing of the results of their oral interview. Candidates who fail the oral board may reapply after 30-days.

5. Those Candidates who pass the oral board will be scheduled for a ride-along. The Chief or designee shall arrange a date and time with a Host Officer and notify the Candidate. The Lieutenant shall brief the Host Officer identifying specific areas of concern.

6. Host Officers shall expose the Candidate to realistic working conditions within the Department to enable them to determine if they want to be employed here. Those Candidates who fail to appear for their scheduled ride-along will be disqualified from the process. The Host Officers shall submit a memo to the Chief or designee stating their observations of the maturity and moral responsibility of the Candidate, their acceptance of diversity, and any hostile or overly aggressive behavior or attitude.

7. The Chief will conduct an executive review of the entire Candidate package, and determine how many, and which, applications will be selected for a full background investigation. This determination depends on the number of available, funded vacancies.

8. Candidates selected for further processing will be notified in writing by the Chief or a designee. The Candidates will have 1-week from notification to meet with the designated investigator. At that meeting, Candidates will be fingerprinted, photographed, and provided with the Phase I Personal History Booklet. This booklet must be completed within 2-weeks of receipt, and returned to the investigator.

9. The Background Investigator will perform full background investigations. Both failing and passing Candidates will be notified of results in writing, by the Recruitment Coordinator. The packets of those Candidates who have passed the full background investigation will be sent to the Chief for decision.

a. A full background investigation is conducted to determine a Candidate’s character, psychological profile and suitability for employment. Parts of the background may begin immediately upon application, and be conducted simultaneously with other phases of the process. However, an investigator will not be assigned until the Candidate has passed the oral interview phase of the process.

b. Background investigations are the responsibility of the assigned Background Investigator. Training will be offered in background investigations as budget conditions allow.

c. Whenever possible, the investigation will be conducted in person, but mail and/or telephone inquiries may be substituted when long distances are involved. The Recruitment Coordinator may request assistance from out-of-state agencies in conducting investigations.

d. After reviewing all submitted forms and applications, the assigned background investigator will schedule an appointment with the Candidate, to go over all questions, and clear up any misinformation.

e. At a minimum, every background investigation will include:

1) Local, State and Federal criminal records check

2) Driver’s license and registration check

3) Credit bureau report

4) Verification of at least 3-personal references

5) Interviews with past and current employers to include review of any personnel files or other written documentation

6) Home visit with the Candidate family

7) Neighborhood check

8) Weapons qualification scores (certified officers only)

9) ASP Baton training records (certified officers only)

10) OC Spray training records (certified officers only)

11) All other training records (certified officers only)

f. Materials to be specifically excluded from the background investigation are:

1) In the area of residence and neighborhood checks, any general statement not supported

by specific detail

2) In the area of employment, general statements not supported by specific details or documents

3) In the area of education, I.Q. and other aptitude test scores

4) In the area of credit, information relating to legitimate debts, except information leading to a pattern of gross indebtedness will not be excluded

5) In all areas, medical history or questions relating to any disability.

B. Phase II

Upon successful completion of Phase, I a conditional job offer will be made by to the Candidate that is the best qualified, contingent upon:

1. Availability of a funded position.

2. Successful completion of a medical background, physical agility, and physical examination to include drug screening free of cost to the Candidate. Candidates who fail the medical exam may reapply via a request to reconsider with the Chief with evidence that they now meet the standard;

3. Successful completion of a polygraph examination, or by an approved truth verification device, by a fully trained and licensed operator; and

4. Results of the psychological testing.

C. At no time will any police employee make any inquiry into whether a Candidate is a disabled person or as to the nature of a disability.

D. Polygraph Examinations

1. If a conditional job offer is made by the Chief the Background Investigator will schedule the Candidate for a polygraph examination, after receiving the Candidate’s permission and advising the Candidate of pertinent questions which will be asked. Polygraph examinations will be administered and interpreted by a trained examiner only as a supplement to the investigatory process, and only when approved by the Chief. Candidates will be informed in advance, in writing, of the questions having a bearing on the selection process. The polygraph, as well as any other means of detection of deception, will not be the single determinant of eligibility for appointment to probationary status.

E. Psychological Testing

1. Since law enforcement work is highly stressful, a psychological assessment that is valid, useful and non-discriminatory is needed to screen out Candidates who might not carry out heavy police responsibilities or be able to endure the stress of the working conditions. Only a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist will interpret the results of a written psychological test administered to the Candidate. The background investigator will ensure that results of the test are kept with other Candidate paper work for a minimum of 5-years, under strict security.

2. Psychological tests will be scheduled by the Recruitment Coordinator once a favorable recommendation has been given by the background investigator and a conditional job offer has been made and accepted. The psychological test consists of:

a. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality

Inventory (MMPI);

b. California Psychological Inventory (CPI); and

c. Interview with the psychologist.

Parts a and b above will be administered by the Coordinator at police headquarter. The Coordinator will forward all test data to the psychologist for review and interpretation.

3. The Department’s psychologist will contact the Candidate and arrange a suitable time for the interview, after which he/she will prepare and submit a written psychological profile report. This report will be kept in strictest confidence, becoming part of the Candidate’s background investigation.

F. Medical Examination

Licensed physicians from a provider chosen by the Department will be used to certify the general health of candidates who have been given a conditional job offer, and the Town will bear the cost of required blood or other laboratory work. Included in the physician’s evaluation of a Candidate will be a physical fitness examination, using valid, useful and non-discriminatory procedures. Physical fitness is a candidate’s body conditioning as measured by examination results evaluated according to the person’s age, weight and height. This process includes a drug screening.


A. Advanced (lateral) entry is permitted. Persons who have successfully completed any Maryland Police Training Commission (MPTC) certified entrance level training course would be eligible for consideration at this level.

B. The entrance requirements will be identical to those in the current class specifications for Police Officer.

C. The recruitment/selection process is amended for this level as follows:

1. Eligible candidates will not be required to take any written examination,

2. Advanced (lateral) entry Candidates who are subsequently hired will start at the level deemed appropriate by the Chief.


Oral interviews will be conducted with every Candidate who successfully completes Phase II of the process. The purpose of the interview is to evaluate a Candidate’s over-all suitability for policing, including evaluation of communication skills, interest in policing, and over-all competence and bearing.

A. Interviews will be conducted by the Chief or designee and two other designated panel members.