Entrance Exams Coming Up for Prospective St. Croix Police Officers

Dec. 6, 2007 — If you'd like to be a police officer on St. Croix, you have until Dec. 14 to sign up with the government's Personnel Division to take the next entrance examination, scheduled for Jan. 17 and 18.
This test is only for people who want to work on St. Croix, not in the St. Thomas/St. John district, said Kenneth Hermon Jr., director of the Personnel Division, on Thursday.
Candidates must pick up the study guide by Dec. 17. They're available at the Personnel Division, located in Orange Grove behind Kentucky Fried Chicken and Banco Popular. Off-island candidates who need the study guides shipped must send a $100 money order to the Personnel Division to cover the cost of express mailing the study guides. A total of $80 will be refunded when the guides are returned to the Personnel Division after the test is taken.
The location for taking the entrance examination has not been set, Hermon said.
"It depends on the final number of people taking the test," he said.
To qualify to take the entrance examination, candidates must be a high school graduate or hold an equivalency certificate, be under age 46 and have no criminal record. Candidates must also hold or be qualified to get a driver's license.
Once a candidate passes the entrance exam, they still must pass physical, agility, psychological and background tests, Hermon said. If they make it over that hurdle, they then attend a six-month course of study at the V.I. Police Department's academy.
If history repeats itself, Hermon said, 20 to 35 percent of those who pass the entrance examination will fail the other tests. Another 20 percent won't make it through the classroom work, he said. In the last round of testing in October, 78 people took the entrance exam, and 15 passed. When 125 people took the test to serve as Corrections Bureau officers, only 15 passed the entrance examination, Hermon said.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. has made it a priority to hire 100 new police officers for each district. That push includes recruiting candidates from off island. Four have applied, with two of them holding certification as police officer or currently working as police officers, Hermon said. Those candidates get abbreviated training because they have experience.
While 100 new officers is the current goal, more police officers may be needed in the future because many experienced, high-ranking officers are expected to retire, Hermon said.
"They'll be losing very senior officers," he said.
Since September, Hermon has processed 10 notices of personnel action, referred to as NOPAs, for senior police officers who are retiring.
Applications are available at the Personal Division, located in the Orange Grove Shopping Center on St. Croix or at dopusvi.org.
For more information, contact Kathleen Simmonds-Roebuck, supervisor of recruitment and classification, at 774-0341.
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