Becoming a Grove Police officer is not an easy proposition. It requires intelligence, fitness, and poise.
The rigorous recruiting process begins with an initial background check.
“If they don’t have a criminal history, they move on to the written test,” said Interim Chief Mark Morris.
The test, which is prepared by a national firm, covers general aspects of law enforcement as well as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and reading comprehension.
Morris said the recruits must pass the test with a minimum of 70 percent, but that is still just the beginning.
Next, recruits must negotiate a 300-yard obstacle course. They must scale a four-foot wall and a six-foot wall, climb through a simulated window, jump a six foot pit, hurdle two 18 inch hurdles, crawl under two 18 inch hurdles, and drag a 175 pound dummy for 15 feet.
According to Morris, the time it takes them to get through the course is taken into consideration.
He said if they finish the obstacle course, they go on to the oral interview phase.
“They are interviewed by two sergeants, a lieutenant, and two patrolmen first,” Morris said.
The top candidates are selected out of those interviewed, and at that point they are subject to another, more extensive background check.
“Then the names of top candidates are submitted to the acting chief,” Morris said. “After he interviews them, he makes a recommendation to the city manager.”
Morris added that candidates must also pass an Oklahoma Police Pension Board physical before being hired.
He said that candidates who are not already CLEET certified must also complete a 14-week certification program in Ada before coming to work at the department.
“They go through field training with a senior officer before they are allowed to go to work on their own,” Morris explained.
He said that during field training, the newly-hired recruits gain experience with the full spectrum of police work including traffic stops, domestic situations, drug investigations, gathering evidence, and fire arms training.
The Grove Police Department is currently considering six new recruits to fill the open officer’s position. Wednesday, the recruits turned out to take the written test, run the obstacle course, and give their first oral interviews.