WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR POLICE OFFICER?
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge and Abilities - Knowledge or ability to learn use of firearms. Ability to learn, understand, and interpret laws, ordinances, policies, and regulations, write clear and accurate reports, remember names, faces, and details of incidents, understand and carry out complex oral and written instructions, analyze situations and adopt a quick and reasonable course of action, establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
Education and Experience - High school graduate. Additional college course work in Criminology, Police Science, or related field preferred. Military experience is highly valued. Keyboarding, computer skills and bilingual Spanish skills are desirable.
1. 21 years of age;
2. U.S. Citizen (must be able to obtain U.S. Citizenship within 18 months of hire date;
3. Good physical condition, hearing and vision;
4. Valid Oregon driver's license by hire date;
5. Must meet D.P.S.S.T.'s standards for speech;
6. No felony conviction; no misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude or dishonesty;
7. Smoking prohibited in all City buildings and vehicles.
HOW DO I START THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
First, you must watch for openings, or you can submit an online Job Interest Card at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/medfordor/default.cfm?action=openjobrequest to receive email notifications each time a position opens in your area of interest. When the positions are open, Human Resources will list the opening on the website at www.ci.medford.or.us. When it does open, you can access the application on the website. The applications are reviewed and those meeting the minimum qualifications are invited to take the written test. The City of Medford is an Equal Opportunity employer who complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you consider yourself disabled and desire assistance in the application process, please contact Human Resources. The applications will be reviewed, and those candidates most qualified will be invited to test.
WHAT IS THE PHYSICAL ABILITY REQUIREMENT FOR THE MEDFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT?
The Medford Police Department utilizes the ORPAT or Oregon Physical Abilities Test, which has been standardized by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and must be completed in 5 minutes 30 seconds. To find out more about ORPAT, check out this link to the DPSST website. It will help you understand what is required and provide tips in getting ready for it. DPSST ORPAT Info
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE TEST?
The testing is done through our City Human Resources department. We utilize CPS Human Resource Services for our test provider. It is a general knowledge test that determines the applicant’s ability to read, write, memorize, comprehend, and work through problems.
I AM FROM OUT OF TOWN. CAN I DO ALL OF THE TESTING AT ONE TIME?
I’m sorry but that isn’t possible due to the logistics of the testing. The tests are graded at the CPS worksite in California, so there is a break between the written test and the assessment center. The ORPAT test is taken during the same day as the assessment center to reduce the requirement for trips.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TEST?
The top 36 to 42 scoring candidates are invited to the assessment center and ORPAT test. The assessment center is a half day process involving multiple interview boards, a hand written project, and a leaderless group board. To get more information on what a police assessment center testing process is like, you can find a lot of information on the web through your favorite search engine as well as purchase books through commercial vendors on the subject. The top candidates are placed on a list.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ASSESSMENT CENTER?
The top candidate(s) are invited to go further into the process starting with a background investigation. Our background investigation is extremely comprehensive. We talk to people that have had contact with you throughout your life. We look into your personal history, academic history, work history, relationship history, drug use history, criminal history, credit history, and anything that can tell us what type of employee you would be for the Medford Police Department. The three things we are looking for are character, commitment, and competence. We want to know if you have the character to uphold the Medford Police tradition of service to our community. We want to know if you have a commitment to service through a law enforcement position to serve our community. Lastly, we want to know if you have the competence to do the job right. This isn’t a gauge on whether or not you have a law enforcement background and competence, this is whether you have the wisdom, strength, and ability to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer.
THE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION IS DONE. WHAT’S NEXT?
After the background investigation is completed, the successful candidate is offered a conditional job offer before moving into additional evaluation. The candidate is scheduled for a medical exam that meets DPSST standards in Medford and a psychological exam with the department’s Psychologist Consultant in Lake Oswego. After the exams, and at the discretion of the Chief of Police and City Manager, the candidate is offered a position.
I’VE BEEN HIRED. WHAT WILL MY FIRST WEEK WITH MPD BE LIKE?
The hiring dates are set to give the new candidate one to two weeks of orientation before leaving for the police academy in Salem. The orientation includes meetings with command staff, policy orientation, firearms training, uniform issue, and introductions to the community partners that we work with. The schedule is set up and supervised by the training officer who walks you through the program. During the orientation phase, the officer has a formal swearing in ceremony with family and friends present.
WHAT IS THE ACADEMY LIKE?
The Oregon Police Academy is located at the DPSST grounds on Aumsville Hwy. just West of I-5 in Salem, Oregon. The candidates stay on campus where they are immersed in police science courses that include academic classes as well as hands-on practical scenario based training. The academy is sixteen weeks long and is in a para-military type setting. Although it isn’t as militaristic as going to a military boot camp, it is based on those premises where discipline and unit cohesion are taught along with the curriculum. http://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/at/Pages/index.aspx
CAN I GO HOME ON THE WEEKENDS?
Yes. Some of the recruits stay on campus for additional study or group studies, especially when they are preparing for major tests, but the opportunity to return home for the weekend is always there.
I’VE GRADUATED FROM THE ACADEMY. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
You return to the Medford Police Department where you are assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO). This is the first of at least three FTOs that will train you over the next few months. The FTO takes the academy trained recruit and puts their new knowledge, skills, and abilities into practical application. This is what is often described as the most stressful point of the police career by many. The FTO rides with the recruit in the same vehicle and helps them become more proficient. As the process moves along, the FTO helps less and less and becomes more of a silent evaluator to ensure the recruit is becoming proficient. The recruit also receives additional targeted training on traffic enforcement and DUII investigations. Every day during field training the recruit receives a written evaluation of what went right, what went wrong, and what they can do to improve. The proficiency necessary to be a police officer is comprehensive and our goal is to give the new recruit every opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.
FIELD TRAINING IS OVER. NOW WHAT?
This is a great time in a new police officer’s career. This is when you're assigned to your first patrol team and go out in the car without the trainer. At this point you are a probationary police officer proficient in handling your calls for service and anything that might present it self. You work closely with your team, especially your Sergeant and Corporal who will serve to mentor you through these early learning stages. Your probationary period is for one year after completion of field training.
DO YOU ACCEPT LATERAL TRANSFERS FROM OTHER AGENCIES? IF SO, WHAT BENEFITS DO THEY RECEIVE OR RETAIN?
We do accept lateral transfers from outside agencies but they go through the same process as civilians. If they are certified in Oregon, there is no additional academy training necessary and they are assigned a field training officer as soon as department orientation is completed. The field training process is generally the same length as a new officer. The department wants to ensure all new Medford Police Officers are given every opportunity to succeed. If the officer is from outside Oregon, the officer goes to a two week refresher course through theOregon Police Academy. These courses are offered once a year, so the officer goes to the next available refresher course. Often they have been through department orientation and field training prior to the refresher course. Based on the lateral officer’s experience, the officer will be brought in at a higher pay rate. This determination is made on a case by case basis.
HOW DO I GET A SPECIALTY ASSIGNMENT AT MPD?
One of the most important things you must remember is that you are being hired to be a police patrol officer. You will have one of the hardest, most challenging, and rewarding positions in the field of law enforcement. A lot of officers stay in patrol their entire careers because it is that rewarding. Most officers who stay in patrol by choice describe the challenges and rewards of going to in-progress calls as well as the ability to help people at their most critical hour as their reason for happily staying put.
Once you have become a competent police patrol officer, you can compete for specialty assignments with other candidates within the department. The selection process is based on merit and designed based on the criteria for the individual position.
I WANT TO WORK AS A DETECTIVE OR CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR (CSI). CAN I GO STRAIGHT INTO THOSE POSITIONS?
The simple answer is no. A lot of interest in law enforcement is driven by crime-based television shows and movies, and that sometimes provides an unrealistic expectation in what law enforcement truly is. To work in any municipal law enforcement agency, you must spend a considerable amount of time learning the basic skills in investigations, tactics, and report writing. These skills are honed in the patrol division. After spending the time acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary, you can apply to compete with other officers for a detective position. Our detectives work a variety of positions including narcotics, property crimes, person crimes, sex abuse, and computer forensics. Our equivalent of what is called CSI is our Forensic Support Unit which is staffed by one Forensic Technician. Keith has a high degree of technical skill in collecting and processing evidence and is an asset to the organization. His job does not include suspect interviews, arrests, or carrying firearms.