Application Deadline for Wilmington's 95th Police Academy Extended Through October 11
Posted on 09/27/2012 4:31 pm
Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker and Chief of Police Michael Szczerba announced today that the Wilmington Police Department (WPD) has extended the application deadline for individuals interested in joining the police force. The deadline was extended from today, September 27, to October 11 to allow the police force more time to build a larger applicant pool.
As of today, 198 individuals have applied to be a police officer. The Mayor said while that number is encouraging, the deadline is being extended to bring even more individuals into the applicant pool to promote diversity and ensure that the applicant pool will remain strong once applicants begin to be eliminated through psychological and physical testing and criminal background investigations. For example, the Mayor said, the previous police academy—the 94th academy—drew interest from a total of 345 applicants.
Successful applicants are expected to begin the 26-week 95th Police Academy in March 2013. Those candidates who graduate from the academy will begin their official police careers approximately in August 2013.
According to Mayor Baker, the Academy is needed to maintain the ranks of police officers. “The WPD’s authorized strength is 320 officers,” said Mayor Baker. “However, we currently have 311 officers, with more vacancies expected in coming months due to normal attrition.” The WPD recruits police officers on an as-needed basis depending upon attrition and the number of vacancies in the department. Academy classes, which are comprised of an average of 20-25 recruits, are typically held every two years. Wilmington City Code requires that a police academy be held when the number of active police officers drops to either 15 positions or 5% below the authorized strength. The mayor also has the authority to start a police academy prior to the thresholds identified by City Code if he determines that current or anticipated vacancies pose a threat to public safety.
“We want everyone to consider joining our police force,” said Mayor Baker. “We especially want to encourage veterans, women, and minorities to apply. While there is no doubt that a career in law enforcement can be very challenging, it is equally rewarding. We look forward to welcoming new recruits to one of the finest police forces in the country."
All applicants to the 95th Academy must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and of good moral character. Applicants must also possess a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or GED, and are expected to establish residency in the City within six months of employment for a period of five years. Military applicants must provide a copy of their DD Form 214 showing an honorable discharge.
Applicants will not be accepted from persons with a felony or violent crime conviction or from someone on criminal probation. Applicants must also meet stringent physical requirements, including normal hearing in both ears; vision of 20/100 uncorrected—correctable to 20/20; and good physical health.
As part of the application process, all applicants must complete physical ability testing (e.g. sit-ups, push-ups, vertical jump, 1.5-mile run, treadmill test); a written examination (e.g. report writing, reading comprehension, reasoning ability, observation and memory); oral interviews; medical and psychological testing; a polygraph examination; a drug screening; and a background investigation (e.g. school records, employment history, military records, credit and banking records).
The base yearly salary for a new police officer is $44,573. Benefits include complete health insurance; $50,000 life insurance; 20-year retirement at 50% of salary; paid overtime; uniforms and equipment supplied; paid vacation based upon length of service; and tuition reimbursement.
The WPD is an accredited police agency that offers many opportunities in training and service in specialized law enforcement positions. The divisions within the Department include: Criminal Investigations; Forensic Sciences; Traffic; Canine; Financial Crimes; Drug; Organized Crime and Vice; Juvenile Services; and Administrative and Support Services.
Applications may be obtained in several ways: in-person from the Department of Human Resources, Louis L. Redding City/County Building (800 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801); by calling Human Resources at (302) 576-2460; or by visiting www.WilmingtonDE.gov/government/policeacademy.