Cabot PD to hire new officers

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 27, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Lt. Brent Lucas and other members of the Cabot Police Department have seen an increase in the number of calls they receive. To help with the higher call volume, the Cabot PD is looking to add five new officers to its force.

— The Cabot Police Department is looking to hire five entry-level patrol officers in April to make Cabot a safer place.

Police Chief Jackie Davis said that when the City Council approved the 2013 budget, money was allotted to create four new positions on the police staff.

“Our call volume has gone up during the last three years,” Davis said. “We had officers running from call to call.”

Davis said the calls the Police Department has been receiving have ranged from thefts and car break-ins to occurrences of domestic violence.

“We’re hoping to have more police officers to assist with that call volume,” Davis said.

Although four new positions were created, the department is also looking for an officer to fill a previously vacated position. The new positions will add another officer to each of four shifts, which are assigned a letter: A, B, C or D, Davis said.

Keith Graham, public information officer for the Cabot Police Department, said this is the second time in 2013 the department is searching for new officers.

“We tested back in January, and out of 17 people, only one passed [the requirements],” Graham said.

For a person to become a police officer, he must take a written test that consists of general knowledge, Graham said.

“The minimum score is set by our chief,” Graham said.

If they pass the written test, the potential officer will then take a physical-agility test. The physical test consists of running and doing push-ups and other exercises.

“We’re focused on getting more people to apply and take the test,” Graham said. “It’ll give us a better pool to choose from.”

After the physical-agility test, the applicant will move into a board interview, where three

officers will ask the applicant about his criminal background and employment history.

Graham said the difficulty in hiring has come from previous applicants lying about their criminal history.

“We don’t want liars to work for us,” Graham said.

After the interview, applicants have to go through a thorough background investigation.

Graham said officers will go to the potential officer’s neighborhood and ask questions of past employers to make sure the applicants are a correct fit for the Cabot Police Department.

When the open positions are filled, the number of officers on the police force will jump from 36 to 41.

“[With the new hires], we’ll be able to handle the patrol volume and reduce response time and handle those calls,” Davis said.

Interested applicants must be at least 21 years old, have no felony convictions, have a valid driver’s license, be a high school graduate or have a GED, must pass a background check and must pass a psychological and physical evaluation administered by a doctor.

Written tests for potential police officers will be administered on April 11. Applications are due to the Cabot Police Department by April 4.

“We’re hoping to make [Cabot] a safer place,” Davis said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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