JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Starting next week, you can apply to be a police officer with the Johnson City Police Department.
The JCPD is looking to fill 15 vacant police officer positions between Jan. 21 and Feb. 28.
The requirements for becoming a JCPD officer is as follows:
- Must be 21 years or older
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be a high school graduate or a G.E.D. equivalent
- Must meet standards set forth by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission
“You can have traffic violations, that’s not going to prohibit you from becoming a police officer, so as long as it’s not a misdemeanor of a moral turpitude or a felony, you can become a police officer in Johnson City,” said Capt. Brian Rice who is also serving as the Interim Operations Major for the JCPD.
After Feb. 28, those applicants who made the grade will be required to take a written test.
“It’s just a standard written test. From there, they will be ranked numerically based on their education points, and that’s something people ask oftentimes: Do you have to have a college degree to become a police officer? The answer to that is ‘no,'” Rice reiterated.
The JCPD has seen a drop in interest in recent years.
“Johnson City’s not unlike any other law enforcement agency around, certainly in our region, and really even nationally in that it’s becoming more and more difficult to have police applicants,” Rice explained. “We have a very high degree of expectations for our police officers, we’re not going to waiver on those expectations, but we have a fewer number of applicants than we had 15-20 years ago.”
“The starting pay for a Johnson City police officer is $35,415, after their first year, and successful probation period after that first year, their pay will increase to $37,198,” Rice said. “So, assuming that they complete their probationary period, $37,198 after the first year.”
The JCPD is not the only law enforcement agency that has seen a drop in quality applicants. Several other law enforcement agencies in our region are trying to fill multiple vacancies.
To boost interest, JCPD has started a new marketing campaign to seek out prospective applicants.
Stickers reading “joinJCPD.com” have been placed on several patrol cars.
“Well, it’s something that we’re doing, we’re testing on to see how effective that is as far as recruiting for us,” Rice told News Channel 11.
Rice said the cost of this new marketing campaign is not breaking the bank for taxpayers, claiming the stickers cost roughly $10 per patrol car.
“We’re currently testing to see how effective that is, so for people that see the advertising on the patrol cars, if that draws their attention into policing, hey, let us know, we’re looking for community feedback of how we retain, hire good quality police officers that want to serve in the town or in the region they live,” he said.
JCPD is also offering some incentives for police officers in other jurisdictions who wish to transfer.
“If you’re already a police officer in another jurisdiction, and you are Tennessee POST certified, we do offer a $2,100 incentive to come to the police department since you already have your certification,” Rice explained. “If you’re from out of state, say, North Carolina, Virginia or other places, we offer a $1,000 incentive for that POST certification from whichever state you live in.”