Recruit says Memphis police hiring process takes too long - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Recruit says Memphis police hiring process takes too long

Wednesday, a police recruit who did not want to be identified, told Action News 5 he's been trying to become a Memphis police officer for more than a year-and-a-half. Wednesday, a police recruit who did not want to be identified, told Action News 5 he's been trying to become a Memphis police officer for more than a year-and-a-half.

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The way the city of Memphis hires police officers sparked a heated debate Tuesday among Memphis City Council members.

Wednesday, a police recruit who did not want to be identified, told Action News 5 he's been trying to become a Memphis police officer for more than a year-and-a-half.

"I started seeing the advertisements and they needed more policemen.  I thought it could be something I could do," he said.    

The recruit said when he heard actor Steven Segal was teaming with Memphis police in a recruitment ad campaign, he applied.  That was in July of 2008.

"In September of 2008, I got my call to take my PAT (Physical Aptitude Test), and my two written tests in October, and I did that," he said.    

The recruit said he felt great about his prospects.  But his quest went cold when no one called through December.

"I called them back and they said, 'Oh, you're still on the list. You're probably going to be in the May or June class of 2009,'" he said.    

The recruit was told he would be going to police academy.

"Nobody has sent me anything saying 'thanks' or 'no thanks,'" he said.    

But he's still hopeful.

"I'm not angry at anybody," he said. "I sure would like a job.  I'd like to be a policeman, but it is taking a long time."  

City officials say the Memphis Police Department turned over the hiring process of new police recruits to the city's Human Resources Department in February 2009.  Some recruits continued under police hiring, while others were transitioned to human resources.

Recruits in limbo think they got lost in the shuffle.

"If they call me, I'm going to go through the class because I still want to be a policeman," the anonymous recruit said. "I still think it's a great thing to do.  I just wish they could speed up the process."

Other recruits tell Action News 5 they experienced no long waits, and the hiring process was smooth.  However, they felt it would be inappropriate to be interviewed about their current employer.

The Memphis City Council is reviewing the police hiring process.

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