Myrtle Beach PD to hire more officers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach PD to hire more officers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department is close to hiring a new batch of police officers. The department is working to reach full staffing levels.

It's a misconception to think that once an officer is hired or once council has approved new positions, that means the officers are out on the streets the next day. Hiring is a very lengthy process for the police department.

The candidates will first come in to take a written test and an agility test. If they pass, they will then have to pass a series of other phases including an interview with a panel, a background check, and then a chief's interview. Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Joey Crosby says there is a lot of time and effort going into this process, because they want to make sure they have the absolute best on the force to keep you safe.

This group that is coming through in July, the candidates are in the last phase right now of the process. But that doesn't mean they'll hit the streets next month. Once they are hired with Myrtle Beach Police, they have to go to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia. Every single officer has to go through this academy in Columbia. Every agency in the state is vying for slots to get their officers into this academy. So then they can come home and get to work.

The next available academy date would not be until August or September. But that doesn't mean they'll be just sitting around waiting until then. “We train the officers before they ever go to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy,” says Lt. Crosby. “On things such as driving, firearms, use of force, legals. Everything they will have at the academy they will experience here at our training academy.”

Then after completing the academy, they have to come home to go through field training, and only after that are they finally good to go. So the time it takes for someone to submit their first application to the moment the officer is on their own in a patrol car, is about a year.

But just because the department has openings right now, doesn't mean all the openings will be filled through this group of candidates. Lt. Crosby says they have to meet all the qualifications, or they won't hire an applicant. And that means the department would open up another class to reach full staffing. The city's Human Resources Department has not responded yet to confirm just how many officer openings exist right now.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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