LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette Police Department is ready to hire officers and is looking for applicants to start the process Saturday, November 6, at 9 A.M. on the Teurlings Catholic High School Football Field.
Anyone who thinks they have what it takes to be “Lafayette strong” will need to dress prepared. That means an ID, tennis shoes, athletic clothes, and the determination to use them.
“We want the best officers we can find to put on the streets of Lafayette,” Lafayette Police Department Recruiter Sergeant Kristina Strong told News 10.
The agency of 302 officers, just matched 12 applicants to open positions in October before 12 new patrol positions were added on November 1st. Sergeant Strong is looking for the next dozen recruits who can fill the remaining roles.
“This definitely is to start filling those spots,” Strong explained. “We are out there. We’re doing the work, and I think we are keeping up very well, but having more officers is never something that is going to hurt.”
Since February 2020, there has only been one other recruitment day. At the height of the pandemic, social distancing meant smaller police academy classes and no ride-along training. Once civil service tests were moved online, the Lafayette Police Department tackled a 29 officer deficit with their previous recruitment day in May.
“I started this back in 2019 just to help our program move a little more fluidly and to keep a pool of applicants. It’s worked very well. We’ve had 40+ people every time we’ve done it,” Strong said.
“Once they come out and take that physical training test, we then give them their applications, they get their background done,” she added. “Then you come in and do your polygraph, an oral review board, a psyche test, and then a medical.”
The whole process can take anywhere from three to six months before you are next in line for an open position, but it all starts Saturday with 1 minute of pushups, 1 minute of sit-ups, a timed 300-meter sprint, and an officer down obstacle drill.
Lafayette Police welcome anyone to apply, but they are hoping for people who live in Lafayette to turn out. They also encourage anyone wanting to take their next step from a smaller department as well.
When asked why this recruitment day is so important, Sgt. Strong said, “The importance is for the citizens of Lafayette. We want to make sure we have an adequate amount of police officers on the road to handle anything.”