Chief Koval's Blog

MPD's New Hiring Resource Group

June 11, 2015 10:01 AM

In order for us to achieve our goals of being a trusted, "guardian-based" agency committed to providing qualitative services which are accessible to everyone and administered in a way that constituents feel valued and respected, the foundation for this rests with our ability to recruit and train the best and the brightest.  We are constantly looking for those who share this mission, endorse our values and are committed to the proposition that MPD is a place where individuals can and do make a difference!  Whether the job be that of a police officer or non-sworn personnel, the prospective candidate must subscribe to a customer-focused orientation as this is how authentic relationships are born and grown.

Sergeant Timothy Patton is the point person for our commissioned recruitment campaigns and also serves as the immediate supervisor for those recruits that are hired and sent to our in-house pre-service Academy.  An educator by design and major, I recruited Tim from his previous life as a special education teacher from Madison Memorial High School almost thirteen years ago (By the way, I also snatched current Sergeant Erik Fuhremann who was a social studies teacher from the same school in the same year . . .MMSD's "loss" has certainly proven to be MPD's "gain")!  Tim is entrusted with the coordination and implementation of all of the strategic planning that goes into this nationwide initiative and he is capably assisted by Deb Slawek, our long-revered Program Assistant who actually serves to quietly attend to everyone's needs in making these campaigns run smoothly.

After leaving my beloved Training Team after seventeen years, I gave Tim strict orders to re-invent everything, no sacred cows, and take risks in keeping MPD on top of the leader board.  He has done just that and one of the newest initiatives launched (inspired by Sergeant Scott Kleinfeldt and Police Officer Amy Kleinfeldt . . .yes, they are a great husband/wife tandem) is our "Hiring Resource Group."  Through this new approach, interested applicants can connect with MPD, learn more about who we are, and what we are looking for in new officers.  Clearly, with the current national and local attention on policing, it is more important than ever that MPD be pro-active in taking the steps necessary to attract and retain individuals who are a compatible fit for our community....and we go to great lengths to make this a priority!

Cutting edge recruiting cannot occur with a one-size-fits-all strategy.  MPD does extensive internet advertising, targeted direct mailings, routinely travels to college campuses in six states, networks with coaches and athletic departments, hosts open houses (which are then recorded and placed on the web site for all to experience), conducts on-site testing to mitigate the time and expenses of candidates, and creates consolidated testing for those with significant distance considerations.  We were among the nation's first to have year-round testing and on-line applications. These reflect a sampling of our commitment to finding good people.  Yet in spite of these multi-tiered efforts, the majority of applicants connect with MPD through one of two ways:  through a self-initiated career search via our Department's web site OR they are referred to us by employees and/or individuals who are familiar with MPD and our commitment to trust-based community policing.  The Hiring Resource Group combines these two predominant points of contact by introducing prospective candidates with current employees through our web site.

The cadre of thirteen officers who currently comprise the Hiring Resource Group have a bevy of life/educational/work experience(s). For example, the cadre's range of work history with MPD is from 3 years to 19.  Academic degrees include psychology, political science, sociology, international relations, national resource management, zoology, and criminal justice.  Their experiences here at MPD:

*Patrol Officer

*Investigator

*Detective

*K9 Officer

*Educational Resource Officer

*Community Policing Team

*Special Events Team

*SWAT Team

*Traffic Enforcement Safety Team

*Public Information Officer

*Neighborhood Officer

As one might imagine, this group is reflective of the well-rounded, diverse employee composition that is uniquely "MPD."  The Hiring Resource Group is a microcosm of what we find in our annual recruit classes.  A "profile" of an entering MPD recruit officer has an average age of "29," has a bachelor's degree (mostly non-criminal justice majors), about a quarter of the class will have a master's (or are pursuing one), and has profound work/life/travel/community and volunteer experience(s).  Many have a second language proficiency.  About 30% of our cops are women (compared with the national average of 12%) and approximately 20% of our force is people of color (which is roughly commensurate with the demographics of Madison).

The beauty of having the Hiring Resource Group is that potential candidates can have transparent conversations with officers who have been told, in no uncertain terms, NOT to sugar coat anything about their feelings about working for the Department and in the City of Madison.  I do NOT want any sort of "bait-and-switch" where we glamorize the job or minimize the challenges of policing here.  It is our hope that when a no holds barred discussion takes place, the candidate can make a more informed decision about whether this career, with a Department that has been made famous for our emphasis on community policing and problem solving, is more likely to be a complementary fit.  If all the candidate is looking for is a traditional call-and-response approach to policing, then they best keep looking.  If, however, they are intrigued with the possibility of being a force in improving systems which embrace not only crime prevention and reduction but also quality of life issues, then look further at what we have to offer . . .

So, if you, or someone you know, are looking for a meaningful way to serve our community, and want to work with a multi-cultural citizenry in improving our collective quality of life – WE WANT TO MEET YOU!

So...

And...

  • introduce yourself to one or more of our Hiring Resource Group.  They are there to assist you and to share information on Policing the Madison Way.

Link to MPD's Hiring Resource Group: http://www.cityofmadison.com/police/jointeam/hiringResource.cfm

Posted by: Chief Koval

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