Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Syracuse Police Department seeking new recruits amid record high vacancies

John Smith

The Syracuse Police Department has been hosting information sessions in the community to attract future officers. The department is looking to hire as many qualified officers as possible to fill historically high vacancies left by former employees who’ve either retired or laterally transferred to other law enforcement jobs. Sergeant of Recruitment and In-Service Training Jason Tom says the most physically fit or most book smart individuals aren’t automatically the best candidates to become officers.

“What I’ve found, a common trait for a great police officers is the ability to communicate.  Because we interact with people on a regular basis.  We have to be able to speak but, also have to be able to listen.  And, I think that would be the number one characteristic that I would say would make people a great police officer,” Tom said.

Sergeant Tom adds officers hold a lot of power and responsibility as they carry out their duties as part of the profession, so the city police department can’t hire just anyone.

He says those with a military background are also good candidates. Beyond that, there are some very specific qualifications.

“So you have to be between the ages of 19-and-a-half and 35 years old. You have to have a valid New York State driver's license. Have a high school diploma or GED, and then have never been convicted of a felony. You’ll also have to take an agility exam in order to be eligible for the civil service exam.”

Tom says the civil service test is only offered twice a year in Onondaga County, andthe deadline to register for April’s exam is February 22nd. If selected, new recruits will train with the Syracuse Police Academy trains for 26 to 28 weeks.

Future Information Sessions:

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.