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Officers must pass an entrance exam. The most recent of which was given in August 2020. From there, they must pass the physical abilities testing completed. Candidates who move on to the next round are interviewed, and then must have a background investigation.
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We have a competitive promotion system that requires officers to read policies and procedures, Massachusetts laws, and management materials. Sergeants and Lieutenants take a 100-question multiple-choice test, followed by a one-day assessment center. The assessment center tests their working knowledge with exercises such as short-answer quizzes, role-playing and scenario-based problem-solving.
The Captains and Chief are tested with an assessment center only. All candidates must then speak before interview panels organized by the Town. Each candidate's performance evaluations are critical to assessing their readiness for a merit-based promotion.
Detectives are appointed by the Chief of Police.
All officers are given an opportunity to participate in Department programs, so as to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and abilities to their supervisors and peers. Each year, all officers are given a performance evaluation and coached on how to improve. We outline performance expectations for all officers and set the criteria for supervisors to rate on "exceeds expectations", "meets expectations" and "below expectations". We wish to have an environment where all officers are valued for their contributions.
All candidates undergo an extensive background investigation that includes their entire life experience, prior employment, family history, credit history, criminal and motor vehicle history, prior military experience and disciplinary history. We interview neighbors and prior employers. Candidates then must pass a medical examination with drug testing. All of this material is then used during a psychological examination.
We currently use a private vendor called Police Exam Solutions who has a diverse network of organizations with whom they advertise. Our Human Resource Director also distributes our notices to community groups, colleges and universities and other connections.
We have also been giving free summer youth academies to spark the interest of police services with local youth. This program is supplemented with our Explorer Program where local kids may want to explore police services in greater depth. The Explorers are similar to a Scouting program. Lastly, we have 6 paid Cadets with one or two positions specifically reserved to hire a youth with fluency in language skills.
The Civil Service lists for promotion to Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant have all expired. The 2019 Annual Town Meeting voted to leave the Commonwealth's Civil Service system and this was certified in the summer of 2019. Our last Civil Service list (Sergeant) expired in July 2020. View the list of all valid promotional lists for all communities in the Civil Service.
A new assessment center for Lieutenant was given on November 17 and 18, 2020. We anticipate a new assessment center for Sergeant in May 2021, and for Captain/Chief in November 2021.