Since 2006, the Boise Police Department has concentrated on hiring experienced officers from other agencies to fill their ranks but officials decided 2013 is the time to reach out to the next generation.
Boise police wants to hire 15 rookie officers in part to compensate for a series of retirements of experienced officers expected later this year and also to invest in the departments future.
The lateral hires have been great, and they get on the street faster, spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said. But there are at least 15 open positions, and folks new to law enforcement bring new energy and new perspectives and different ways of looking at things. Its reinvigorating to have new officers.
The city is doing broad testing for entry-level officers for the first time since 2009. Testing will be at Boise State University on March 2 and April 20. Anyone interested can go to the Boise police website and register to take the test on either day.
Anyone applying needs to have completed 64 college semester credits the equivalent of an associate degree.
Former members of the military must have completed 32 semester college academic credits, possess an honorable discharge or be an active member in good standing of a reserve component or National Guard unit, have achieved a rank equivalent of E-4 or above and agree to obtain a cumulative total of 64 semester college academic credits or equivalent within five years of being hired.
City officials say there is no flexibility on those requirements, but also say they expect to do more hiring for rookies in the next year or two, so there will be additional opportunities for people who dont have enough college credit right now.
New hires will have to pass background checks before entering the 10-week Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) academy in October. When thats done, they will get an additional 14 weeks in the Boise police academy before beginning field training with another officer. That program takes 14 weeks before officers are on their own. The new officers wont hit the streets until early 2014.
Boise police can have up to 312 sworn officers; the force is around 300 right now, Hightower said.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr