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Palestine PD seeking quailfied applicants for police positions

PALESTINE, March 17, 2014— As part of a comprehensive recruiting program, the Palestine Police Department is hosting a civil service test on March 29, 2014. Applications for this test must be received no later than March 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. No certification is required to apply. Certified applicants who gain employment with the department go immediately into the field. However, those with no prior experience or certification will spend the first 8 months of employment attending the academy and in on-the-job training. With an authorized strength of 38 sworn personnel, the department currently has 9 vacancies.

Over the last several months, with the help of the City of Palestine City Council, the Palestine Police Department has become increasingly more competitive with regard to pay, having recently approved an 8% pay raise for Officer level ranks, and 4% for supervisory positions.

The City of Palestine benefits package is competitive. The City offers health insurance to employees with no up-front premiums, as well as reduced premiums for family members, and low cost dental, vision, and supplementary insurance policies.

Other benefits include longevity pay, TCOLE Certification pay up to a maximum of $350 per month, Shift Differential Pay, and a family membership to the Palestine YMCA. The City is a Texas Municipal Retirement System contributor, with a 2 to 1 match, and vesting after 5 years of service. The department also provides uniforms, a protective vest, and duty gear, including a duty firearm.

Another incentive for officers with experience is the Lateral Transfer Program. This program allows an applicant with previous police service, either in Texas or nationally, to gain credit with regard to pay, rewarding their experience level.

For candidates who have not attended a police academy, the City will pay a salary to the employee during the academy, provide transportation if needed, and cover tuition expenses associated with completed academy training.

This complete pay and incentive package make the Palestine Police Department an excellent career opportunity. We are seeking help to inform possible applicants of these open positions.

 Current officers are encouraged to seek out qualified applicants within the community, and encourage them to apply for employment. Officers also visit colleges, police academies, job fairs and other civic functions in order to recruit employees. Other outlets for information can be found via the police department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and the City of Palestine website.

The department does understand that it is a competitive marketplace with scarce resources. Going forward it will take creativity in the recruiting field as well as a higher level of communication to attract qualified applicants to not only Palestine, Texas but any smaller agency outside of the major metropolitan areas. The Police Office believes the positive changes in the department, as well as the community over the last several months makes this a great opportunity for candidates to consider. There are some good things going on in Palestine, including school district infrastructure improvements, improving economic opportunities, and a lower cost of living than other larger metropolitan areas.

The Palestine Police Department is an equal opportunity employer, and as a civil service entity governed by Local Government Code 143, does not hire based on race, sex, ethnicity, religion or any other protected class of person. By rule, they do hire, using several criterion, including a passing score of 70 on a standardized exam, which is written by an outside firm. In addition, the applicant must successfully complete a physical agility test, criminal background, reference, job history, credit check, as well as interview board, polygraph exam, psychological exam, physical and drug screen.

The Palestine Police Department, like many agencies, additionally has policies and procedures in place to assure that equality is upheld during the hiring procedures. As other areas of the City of Palestine, they are actively seeking to hire personnel, so as to reflect the demographics of the community that they serve. Many of our the, including hiring practices, are modeled after best practices found within CALEA, a national law enforcement best practices organization, as well as the Texas Chief of Police Association Foundation’s Best Practices Program, in order to achieve status as a professional organization.

For more information or to request an application, contact HR Director Susie Streb at 903-731-8421, or Police Administrative Assistant Donna Thornell at 903-731-8436. A police application may also be retrieved from the City of Palestine website at http://www.cityofpalestinetx.com/city_jobs.php or in person at the Palestine Police Department, located at 511 North John, Palestine, Texas

KYYK's Gary Richards spoke with Palestine Police Chief Robert Herbert about the upcoming Civil exam as well as the Citizen's Active Shooter Course. Click below for more.

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