A new police officer has accepted an offer to join the Shippensburg Police Department and could begin initial training with the department as early as next week.
His hiring is pending the passing of medical, psychological and lie detector examinations as outlined in the borough code. Borough staff anticipates the new officer costing $95,000 for one year.
Chief Meredith Dominick will have nine full-time officers and four part-time officers under her direction once the necessary pre-hiring processes are complete. Full-time police officers have a starting salary of $43,322, according to Dominick.
The hiring process began in April with Shippensburg Borough Council’s approval to pursue another full-time officer. Five people applied for the position and met minimum qualifications. Four of the candidates passed all of the administered tests, like a physical/agility test. One of the candidates withdrew from the process, leaving three candidates in the pool. The Civil Service Commission ranked the candidates based on the scores of a written test and oral interviews. Council made the final approval to extend the offer last Tuesday.
The department expects to soon have one more full-time officer on the street than in previous years.
“It's a wonderful addition to the department,” Dominick said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It’s the first time in 30 or 40 years we will have a different complement of officers.”
The new addition is 21 years old, and has graduated from an accredited Police Academy required for Act 120 certification.
“(The new officer) is young, and anxious to get involved in police work, which is wonderful to see in today’s world,” Dominick said.
Dominick said the department has more than 100 years of experience between all of the officers, including four veteran officers, each with more than 20 years of experience.
“The presence of danger seems to be more at the forefront,” the chief said, whenever an officer responds to a call. For a call like a barking dog or a slashed tire, she said the department needs to always be ready to send backup from their own department in case something else unexpected emerges.
“The calls for service have changed and have increased,” she said. “The types of calls have changed with severity and seriousness, which has required the demands of the department to change.”
After initial training, the new officer would receive a uniform and begin patrolling the borough at a later date to be determined.
The chief is looking to hire a few more part-time police officers.