Hutto drops some requirements in search for police officers


Highlights

Officers with five or more years of experience won’t have to take written or physical fitness tests.

Hutto is trying to compete against larger cities that offer more pay.

The Hutto Police Department has relaxed some of its requirements during a hiring search for two experienced officers. Candidates who are qualified won’t have to pass a written test or a physical fitness test, said Hutto Police Chief Earl Morrison.

Applicants with five or more years of experience as police officers can bypass the written and physical tests, he said. The department, which has 28 officers, had to get “creative” in its search because it faces so much competition in Central Texas for officers, Morrison said.

“We are competing with neighboring cities who are larger and have more resources than us,” he said. He said the city has always been looking for experienced officers.

Candidates will still have to meet other requirements, including a criminal background check, a polygraph test and a psychological examination Morrison said.

Mitch Slaymaker, the deputy director for the Texas Municipal Police Association, said dropping some requirements to attract officers is “not necessarily a common practice but it’s certainly becoming that way.” He said police departments are becoming very aggressive about recruiting applicants because the number of people interested in the job is shrinking.

Morrison said some reasons for the declining interest include violence against police officers and the low pay that beginning officers receive.

He said the Hutto Police Department started its new approach to searching for two officers last week and already has received five applications. The department is offering qualified candidates $50,000 to $55,000 based on their experience. Information about applications is at bit.ly/2jbXM2l or (512) 759-5978.



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