Police Want To Fill Ranks With Locals

Mar 15, 2017

The Bethel Police and Fire Departments are participating in a job fair on Thursday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cultural Center in Bethel.
Credit KYUK Staff

The Bethel Police Department wants to hire more local people. Along with the Bethel Fire Department, it is setting up shop at Thursday's job fair at the Cultural Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Natalie Hayes, the Dispatch Supervisor, is among the people who will be there to talk about careers in community policing.

"But honestly, anybody who is interested in a career in law enforcement. It doesn't necessarily have to be patrol. We have dispatch, people that are interested in animal control. There's a lot of different hats you can wear, a lot of different roles you can play and still be in public safety."

The Police and Fire Departments are also participating in a panel discussion at 11 a.m. Thursday morning to help people find out what the work is like.

"Basically people can ask us questions about what it's like to work in public safety, what it takes to get a job in public safety. We're ready and willing to answer any questions that anybody might have."

The Bethel Police Department has only seven patrolmen working the streets. They need more, and they are even looking toward youth. The city will be talking to high school students about careers in public safety on Friday. Though candidates need to be 21 to work as a patrol officer, city police do have a special program for younger people interested in getting paid and working in a entry level position at the department.

"Kids that know they want to be in public safety can start in our Community Service Patrol program and work their way up, and learn about the department, and learn about Bethel and the streets of Bethel, and be active in the community in a para-law enforcement type environment."

Police Chief Andre Achee told the Bethel City Council that the two officers who came up through the Community Service Patrol system have worked out very well for the department. The Bethel Police Department is about 50 percent below the staffing level it should have. The department is looking both outside and inside the community to fill those positions.