With two vacancies on the police force, the city is calling on individuals interested in patrolling Stephenville streets.

Despite diligent recruitment efforts, Police Chief Roy Halsell said the department continues to adjust officers’ schedules and pay overtime to fill the gap left by the openings and ensure sufficient personnel are manning the streets around the clock.

The police department hired two certified officers at the beginning of the year, but another officer resigned, effective this week.

The city council approved the addition of two cadets to the force in October 2008. The cadets sign on with the department, attend the police academy and make a three-year commitment to the local force.

Police officials then set out on a multi-phased recruiting campaign at which time Halsell said more than 70 applications were reviewed. From the dozens of applicants, only one cadet was hired.

Halsell said 74 people, including nine certified officers turned in applications. Only 43 showed up for testing including three certified peace officers. Only 18, including one certified officer, passed the tests. Then all but two were eliminated following background checks. One withdrew his application.  

The lone finalist started training at the police academy in April, graduated in September and is now undergoing field training with the police department. 

“We have been unable, in spite of our efforts, to fill the second (cadet) position,” Halsell said.

In addition to having a vacancy on the cadet level, Halsell said the city is also looking to hire two certified peace officers.

According to the police department’s Web site, www.stephenvillepolice.org, applicants must be 21 year of age or older and be TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) certified prior to hire and must also possess a high school diploma or GED.

To be considered for employment, candidates must complete an application, which is available online or can be obtained in person at City Hall. Qualified applicants must also undergo testing, including the completion of an obstacle course and written exam.

Testing will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, in Stephenville. Applications must be completed and turned in by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, and may be submitted by mail, online or faxed to (254) 918-1207.

After completing the five-phase hiring process, which also includes a comprehensive background investigation, interview with administrative staff, polygraph and psychological and medical evaluations, officers are hired at an annual starting pay of $35,190.

Benefits include 100 percent paid employee medical/ and dental benefits, retirement, vacation and sick and holiday pay. The city also provides uniforms, leather gear and a firearm. Limited tuition reimbursement is also available.  

For more information, contact the Stephenville Police Department at 918-1200.