DeKalb builds list of potential patrol officers

By Dave Gomez

The DeKalb Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is reviewing the applications of about 60 candidates for patrol officer positions within the police department.

The citizen board conducted a series of interviews over four days at the DeKalb Police Department last week.

Advertisements and notices for the entry-level testing were distributed in June. Applications were due by early August, said Michelle Anderson, the board’s secretary and assistant human resources director for DeKalb.

“Anyone who turned in a packet was able to test with us,” she said.

Candidates were issued a written examination as part of the interview process.

Those passing the written examination were assigned an interview time, Anderson said, after which the scores from the written examination and interview were combined.

Passing candidates will be placed on a two-year eligibility list and contacted as soon as positions become available, Anderson said.

The list will not take effect until Nov. 12, the day after the previous list expires, Anderson said.

“These are the patrol officers that we’ll be hiring to help give us flexibility [and] expand our community-oriented efforts,” said DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen.

Additional officers will help police deal with the city’s growth, which can often place an additional burden on the police department, Feithen said.

“We feel we’ve been successful in reaching out to the community,” Feithen said. ” This is going to help us provide a good level of security.”

Candidates must meet several qualifications to become full-fledged patrol officers.

A four-year degree in any discipline or a two-year law enforcement degree is required, Feithen said.

If candidates do not possess a degree, they are sent to a police academy for training.

“I sit in on the interviews and we’re very pleased with the quality [of applicants],” Feithen said.

Three officers will be hired with the help of a recent grant from the Department of Justice, Feithen said.

DeKalb police will probably not look to hire additional officers until December, Feithen said, as police academies will not be available to train the new recruits until at earliest Jan. 1.

The current salary for a patrolman is $47,673, Feithen said, while new officers will begin with a starting salary of $49,587 as of Jan. 1.