Oct. 1, 2003 – For the first time in three years, the government Personnel Division is actively recruiting police officer candidates. Those who meet preliminary qualifications will be invited to take the examination for admission to the V.I. Police Academy, which will be offered on three dates later this month.
Kevin Rodriguez, Personnel assistant director, said it had taken the division three years to cycle the last group of roughly a hundred qualified recruits through training at academy. "We have to exhaust the entire list" before opening recruitment up again, he explained on Wednesday.
The first step toward qualifying as a candidate for the academy is to have a high school diploma, U.S. citizenship and a valid driver's license. Aspiring candidates who meet those criteria are invited to pick up applications at the Personnel Division offices — in the GERS Building on St. Thomas and in the Orange Grove Shopping Center on St. Croix. Applications must be completed and returned by Oct. 15.
Division staff then will review the applications. Those individuals who meet the qualifications for becoming a police officer will be notified to pick up a study guide for the police exam and a card giving them admission to a testing site. The exam will be given Oct. 23 and 24 on St. Croix and Oct. 25 on St. Thomas.
Compared to qualifying tests given for other government jobs, Rodriguez said, the police exam has a relatively low failure rate — around 20 percent. There's a rather high drop-out rate because of other procedures, "but not the test," he said.
Passing the exam does not automatically lead candidates to the doors of the training academy. They also most pass a physical agility test, a psychological exam, a background check and a drug test. Those who do so then meet with the Police Selection Board.
Typically in recent years, about 150 persons at a time have sat for the police exam, Rodriguez said, and about two thirds of those individuals made it through the entire screening process. Candidates who fail certain tests, such as the one for agility, can apply to retake them.
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