By Sydni Anderson, Staff writer
After a series of recruitment efforts, Murray residents may see a few more gr=ay uniforms and shiny, gold badges in town. Job postings have popped up on the Murray Police Department Facebook page and as a result, officers have been recruited.
According to the Murray Police Department Facebook page, four officers were welcomed into the department after completing Basic Training Academy in Richmond, Kentucky, on March 17.
Brant Shutt, sergeant of support services, said there is not a new demand for officers, but the department is trying to regain a full staff. Shutt said the department currently has positions for 40 sworn police officers but recently had positions open for two patrol officers and two dispatchers.
“With a potential officer, we want someone who we believe can handle the physical and mental stress that the job can entail,” Shutt said. “We want someone who is responsible and who we believe can maintain composure under pressure.”
Shutt said the process of training after the recruits are hired includes traveling to Richmond, Kentucky, for the Police Academy at the Department of Criminal Justice Training. Shutt said the officers spend 23 weeks covering a range of topics, including legal classes, emergency driving, firearms, defensive tactics, DUI patrol and testing and physical training.
“Once graduated from the academy, the recruits will then spend nine weeks with a training officer at the Murray Police Department, three weeks on each shift, before they are allowed to patrol on their own,” Shutt said.
The benefit of a full staff is efficiency. Shutt said a minimum of four officers are out at one time with each shift.
Shelby Tooke, senior from Shelbyville, Kentucky, is president of Murray State’s Criminal Justice Society. Tooke said she feels that the quantity of officers hired does not matter as much as the quality. Nevertheless, she said she is very supportive of police departments in general and feels Murray is a very safe community.
“I have done an internship with a sheriff’s office and have seen some of the daily stressors deputies and officers face,” Tooke said. “Personally, I respect every officer no matter what department, office or state they represent. Every time I have encountered Murray police officers, they have been very helpful and respectful.”
Shutt said the Murray Police Department routinely makes appearances at the Murray State Career Fair along with the City of Murray to recruit new people. The department also holds an eight-week Citizens Police Academy to educate citizens on the issues that law enforcement officers face in Murray and Calloway County.
To apply to be a Murray police officer, the candidate must be 21 years old or older and have a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. Shutt said the candidate must pass a physical condition assessment, a written test, a psychological screener, a polygraph test, a drug screen, a background check and an oral interview. People may submit applications online through the city website.