EATON RAPIDS, Mich. — In an effort to bring on qualified candidates, the Eaton Rapids Police Department will pay for prospective officers to attend a police academy
Police Chief Larry Weeks said the program is not new to law enforcement but is to Eaton Rapids.
“It’s something that we have started because we, like other agencies, are challenged with trying to find qualified candidates to hire," Weeks said. "We’re hoping this presents a new applicant pool for us to take a look at and bring in some good quality candidates to do policing here in Eaton Rapids.”
Weeks said three of the department's 10 full time officer positions are vacant and, every day that those positions aren't filled, it's creating a surplus. The goal is to use that surplus to fill the positions.
Those who are hired and pass the tests required by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards would then attend a regional police academy.
“So that for us could be Lansing Community, maybe Washtenaw Community College’s academy near Ann Arbor," Weeks said. "It just depends on the timing of the situation and what academy is starting once we hire them. You know as far as what’s the best fit for us to send that person.”
Cadets will get paid $18.33 an hour while they're in training and upon graduation would move to $20.48 an hour to start as a licensed officer.
Eaton Rapids Mayor Pam Colestock said she’s hopeful they will be able to get some good candidates.
“Maybe there’s somebody that’s been wanting to become a police officer but there a little bit on the fence about it and this could really you know make it so that they want to take that step forward,” Colestock said.
Weeks said they hope to start taking applications by the end of the week.
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