Tooele City swore in a new police officer on Jan. 26.
Joseph Gil became the city’s newest member of the city’s police force.
“He was recently hired by us, able to go through the Police Academy, pass all the tests, and he’s finishing up training,” Cpl. Colbey Bentley, public information officer at the police department said.
Each year, four to seven new officers are sworn in.
The process to become an officer is extensive and begins with the application and interview process, according to Bentley.
Each candidate is handpicked.
“There is the initial application that’s put in,” Bentley explained. “Then there is a vetting process that involves members of the police department and city hall going through applications and trying to decide who would be a good fit for the police department. There is an interview process and a physical test that everyone is required to pass to move on in the interview process. The test consists of running a mile and a half in a certain amount of time, doing a certain number of pushups in an amount of time, a two minute plank, and being able to have a certain vertical jump.”
After the interview process, candidates’ backgrounds are examined.
“Then there is a background check process where we really run a fine tooth comb through anyone who is applying to become a police officer,” Bentley explained. “We look into their background extensively to make sure there is nothing concerning that could possibly disqualify them as a police officer, like something that might not make them the best candidate for us.”
Applicants also have to pass a psychological exam.
“It’s not a perfect process, but it’s something we have found success in,” Bentley said.
Applicants that make it this far in the process are able to attend the Police Academy if they haven’t already.
“Officers can choose to sponsor themselves and put themselves through the academy before applying for places or we can send them through the state academy,” Bentley said. “That’s about sixteen and a half weeks of training. There are numerous tests out there, including written and physical tests.”
If a candidate passes training at the Police Academy, they are sent back to the police department where they will be trained in the field with a senior patrol officer.
“If they’ve done well enough and we feel like they can do well enough on their own, we can sign off and say that they would be a good patrol officer,” Bentley said.
Each year, officers are required to attend 40 hours of training.
Tooele City is not currently hiring for police officers, but they might be soon, Bentley said.
“We look for officers who are empathetic and community-minded,” he said. “We want one who is able to handle rapidly evolving, tense situations, and de-escalate situations. They have to be able to make split second decisions that we hope are correct.”
Job openings for police officers are posted at tooelecity.org along with the Tooele City Facebook page.
There are currently around 45 officers working for Tooele City.