A Georgia police department is hoping to attract more recruits and expand its hiring pool by making changes to its testing process for new officers.
During a meeting Monday, city lawmakers passed an ordinance that tweaks and eliminates several tests recruits must pass to join the Warner Robins Police Department, WMAZ-TV reports. Dropping the time requirement for the department's fitness test was among the approved changes.
"It's a 2-minute, 6-second timed exercise," said interim Police Chief Roy Whitehead. "We could have someone do it at 2 minutes and 12 seconds, and we wouldn't be able to hire them, but other agencies would because they don't have those same requirements."
The test changes apply to POST-certified officers from Georgia and out of the state. In fact, Whitehead hopes these changes—including cutting several written tests—will allow them to better compete for hires outside of Georgia.
"We're looking for the opportunity to reach out to others because people relocate for different reasons," he said. "You could have a family member that's being stationed here at the Air Force base, and then we would have that opportunity to bring them in, if they're certified in another state, and bring them in more quickly."
While the goal of eliminating and changing some tests might be to make it easier to fill positions, Whitehead and Mayor LaRhonda Patrick contend that those changes aren't watering down department standards.
"What we did has not made it easier to walk into the door, we have just vetted our process," said Patrick. "We just want to accomplish the mission, which is get these officers in, get them certified and get them tested get them streamlined, so they can get sworn in and start working for the City of Warner Robins as soon as possible."