During the City Council’s November 21, 2017 meeting, Forney Police Chief Rob Sherwin provided the Council with a brief presentation on the current state of hiring within the police department and the challenges that are now apparent as more applications are received.
Police Chief Sherwin first talked about recruiting and retention issues being faced by police departments across the nation, and then spoke specifically about hiring and retention with the Forney Police Department.
Using a slide presentation Chief Sherwin said “This is what we are supposed to look like. We are budgeted for 46 positions; 30 officers, 11 dispatchers, 2 detention officers, 2 record techs and 1 administrative coordinator. What we look like right now is, 26 officers with 4 officer vacancies, not as of today but on the first we’ll save our fourth vacancy come up because we’ve had an officer go to another agency.”
Sherwin stated “We have two cadets that we hired in October and they are in the North Texas Council of Government Academy and they will graduate in March of next year. We have eight communications officers and a supervisor. We have three vacancies there, so we have a total of thirty-nine employees.”
Explaining the recently updated hiring policies of the Forney Police Department, Chief Sherwin said “This is our hiring process that many of you might not be aware of. So it’s an application and background packet and there is a written test. Just for example, we gave a written test last week where eight candidates came in, and we had two pass.”
Using a slide that listed the specific testing requirements for both police officers and communication dispatchers, Chief Sherwin said “Each one of these items is a pass or fail. About 90% of the applicants that process in this area fail at one of the steps in the process. We encourage them to try again in six months.”
Explaining the requirements, Sherwin said “We’re now doing a Polygraph and that’s really standard in most agencies. The Panel Interview is with members of the department, not with me. And they give them interview scenarios to help them through the process. And we have an extensive background investigation, drug screening and physiological test.”
Next detailing the FPD’s new Lateral Entry Recruitment Program, Chief Sherwin said “Thank you so much for the help you guys gave with the new pay plan because it’s a whole lot easy to recruit where it is now. Starting pay is $50,700 if they have, with every two years additional experiences with licenses and skills which will bump them up in the Step Program. So if someone comes in with experience over four years, they can start in at a Step C and that makes us attractive to agencies, especially on the eastern side.”
Written by: Denise Bell