LIMA — Lima officials are concerned about the small number of people applying to become police officers.
“When we had an opening in the fire department, we had close to 200 applicants,” Lima Mayor David Berger said during his weekly press conference Wednesday. “We did a test in the police department about eight months ago, and we had 17 applicants.”
The goal is to attract as many qualified candidates from a diverse group of people as possible. The Lima Police Department has eight openings, with a starting salary of $22.20 per hour.
“It is no exaggeration to say that we’re asking people from Lima to become heroes, to dedicate themselves to a life of service that is exceptional,” Berger said.
The LPD often faces criticism from the community about a lack of diversity on its force. The LPD’s response generally focuses on low application rates and turnouts for the Civil Service Board test.
A Civil Service Board test is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14 at the City Club, 144 S. Main St., Lima, said Major Patrick Coon, of LPD’s administrative services division. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, with applications available in the Lima Civil Service Board office on the second floor of the RTA Building, 202 E. High St., or online at j.mp/2ZwuuPr.
Coon said the LPD wanted to try a Sunday afternoon test to open it up to a “greater audience.”
“We’re trying to use these options to bring in as many people as we can,” he said. “We know it cuts into their family time a little bit.”
Applicants must be at least 21 years old and no older than 35 at the date of hire.
“We need capable young people — men and women, Black and white — to consider this as a vocation they’d put themselves into,” Berger said.