WOONSOCKET â€“ Police Chief Thomas S. Carey and members of his command staff offered encouragement to a group of 36 potential police department applicants Thursday night at the high school... as well as a reality check.
The group showed up to hear details on the departmentâ€™s preparation of a new hiring list that will be used to send two new police candidates to the R.I. Municipal Police Training Academy in January and possibly additional candidates to academies in the future.
They also got the chance to meet some of the department members who will be involved in the candidate review process or the department training that will follow a candidateâ€™s completion of the police academy.
Police work is interesting and rewarding but it takes a lot of personal commitment to become a sworn member of the department, the police officials told the group of candidates.
Lt. Todd Boisvert ran down the application process itself and noted that the application period ends at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.
A written test for applicants will be held on Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. at Woonsocket High School and the police department physical fitness test, or agility test as it is more commonly known, will be held on Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. at the high school, Boisvert said. An oral interview with department command staff members will be held as a final review of candidates on a date yet to be determined, according to Boisvert.
The physical fitness test must be passed by all applicants for the academy and varies according to a candidateâ€™s age group and gender.
The requirements for male candidates, ages 20 to 29, include completing 38 sit-ups in one minute, a maximum bench press of .99 percent of a candidateâ€™s body weigh, a 1.5 mile run in 12 minutes and 29 seconds, and a 300-meter run in 59 seconds.
Requirements for female candidates, ages 20 to 29, include completion of 32 sit-ups in one minute, a maximum bench press of 59 percent of oneâ€™s body weight, running 1.5 miles in 15:05 and a 300-meter run in 71.0, according to Boisvert.
Carey told the candidates that while the agility test must be passed to continue as a candidate for a police position, the test is also the same agility test the candidates will face to gain entry into a training class at the Municipal Police Training Academy.
Although the January academy may seem a long way off at the moment, Boisvert said the department has a lot to do to select its candidates who will attend it.
Police Sgt. Edward Cunanan, a native of Woonsocket who served with a police department in Florida in addition to his local service, told the candidates there is no better feeling than going to work for the police department in the community in which you grew up.
â€śIt means the world to me,â€ť Cunanan said of working for the Woonsocket Police Department.
And while he voiced encouragement to the candidates who showed up on Thursday, Cunanan also advised them to take their interest in the job very seriously.
â€śIf you all want to be a police officer, you might start working on that today,â€ť Cunanan said while looking the group over.
The candidates must present themselves in a manner suited to being a police officer and that runs from a direct and forward manner in their responses to questions, to dressing for the role of a police department candidate.
Police officers must wear their uniforms proudly and that is something candidates must begin to emulate as they work toward obtaining a police officerâ€™s badge, Cunanan said.
â€śYou have to look the part and you have to start acting the part today and take that persona with you into the review process,â€ť he said.
Cunanan and Boisvert also warned the group to be ready to make a long-term commitment to training if they are selected as candidates for the job.
The police academy runs 16 weeks and is following by another 14 to 20 weeks of on-the-job training supervised by the police department, they said.
Candidates must show up for all their training at the police academy and must be prepared to make changes in their personal commitments to achieve that attendance, Boisvert said.
Carey told the candidates the department was prepared to help them achieve success in their post-academy training and said he also wished to take away some of the anxiety they might be feeling by providing them with as much information as possible about the review process they will face.
â€śThe big focus for you right now is just to get through the process,â€ť Carey said.
More information is available about the departmentâ€™s job application process on the Woonsocket Police Department website, the officials noted. The personnel department at City Hall also has information on the application process and copies of the application for candidates to complete.