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Police chief, mayor urge Toledo Latinos to join TPD

By Kevin Milliken for La Prensa


Nov. 3, 2012: Toledo’s mayor and police chief watched Saturday morning with great interest a steady stream of applicants who hope to become police cadets. City officials are hoping to add 75 officers in the next police class—while adding to diversity among the police ranks.


The months-long recruitment drive bore immediate results, as 350 applicants either showed up at the fire department’s downtown administrative offices or filed on-line in the first three hours.


“It makes me very happy,” said Police Chief Derrick Diggs. “It makes me understand that there are individuals who want to join the ranks of Toledo’s finest and I’m very, very happy with that. I think it’s indicative of how this whole recruitment process will continue to go on. I’m happy with the numbers. It’s working out for us.”


At least a half-dozen of those initial in-person applicants were from the Latino community. Recruiters hoped that rate of return would continue, because they placed special emphasis on reaching out to Latinos—because they need Spanish-speaking officers and need to beef up those ranks to reflect the growing numbers of Latinos.


“I’m looking for a large amount of diversity,” said Chief Diggs. “We need to make sure the police department is reflective of the community it serves. We’re really hoping we can diversify this group of individuals and push that forward.”


“That says that people, one, are extremely interested in being police officers, and two, they want to serve their city,” said Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. “The process and the job market entice people to think about a different career. The numbers aren’t surprising simply because the economy is still a little rough. People want to be able to feed their families and this is a very exciting career.”


But the city’s hopes of beefing up the overall numbers of the police force are being dashed by the number of expected retirements: 50 this year and another 25 in 2013. Many are leaving to avoid upcoming changes to the state pension systems, which could affect many of them financially in retirement.


“It’s a hole we have to continue to dig ourselves out of,” admitted Chief Diggs. “This group of 75 will at least allow us to keep where we’re at as far as slowly going in that direction (of adding more officers). You have to remember, we haven’t had regular hiring of police classes in many, many years. So if you don’t hire new officers and now we have a lot of officers retiring, that’s a big hole we have to fill.”




“It has to be a person who can handle stress in a way that is very calm,” said Mayor Bell of what it takes to be a good police officer. “It has to be a person who can handle stress and still work efficiently in that kind of environment.”


Toledo’s mayor predicted the process to become a police officer would remain “extremely competitive,” despite recruitment efforts in recent years in Toledo from police departments in warmer-weather cities, such as Houston and San Diego.


“Any time these types of jobs open up, it’s extremely competitive all over the country and definitely in this city,” Bell said, citing his time as fire chief, state fire marshal and mayor. “I’ve never seen a time when we could not find good, qualified people. But I think everyone who wants to be a police officer should apply. Don’t think that you’re not qualified to do it. Let the process eliminate you. Don’t eliminate yourself.”


Applicants may also find application and supplemental documents online through Friday, Nov. 16, by navigating to http://www.toledo.oh.gov/ and clicking on “Police Officer Application”. Application and test preparation materials will not be available online after that time.


Applications will be accepted in person at the city’s fire administration building during the following dates and times:


8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, November 7-9, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2012

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, November 10, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, November 14-16.


Police department applicants must be 20 years of age on or before Dec. 1 and must not have reached the age of 35 as of the same date. All applicants must have received a high school diploma or GED certificate prior to application.


The police civil service exam is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1 at the SeaGate Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave. All applicants must be available to take the examination on the scheduled day and time.



Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/06/12 06:33:57 -0800.




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