The Madison Police Department swore in 23 new recruits at the Police Training Center on Femrite Drive Monday, after they completed the department’s Pre-Service Academy.
After spending over 800 hours in “academy” training, the recruits will spend the next three months working with a veteran officer on patrol. Following that shadow session the recruits will be assigned to one of MPD’s five district offices.
“MPD is constantly recruiting. We seek individuals who are mature, have a diverse life experience and reflect the diversity of our community,” MPD Training Center Captain Thomas Snyder said in a release. “We are looking for people who are good problem solvers, critical thinkers and most importantly, people that are good communicators.”
Almost 700 applicants applied for the 23 positions, and of the new class, 30 percent are people of color and 43 percent are women. The applicant pool had a wide variety of academic backgrounds and previous experience, according to the release.
MPD Chief Mike Koval has argued that the police department needs more officers for a city of Madison’s size, which has resulted in a feud between Koval and Madison Common Council over a review of the department that will cost the city approximately $350,000.
Koval said in a 2015 blog post that as Madison approaches a population of 250,000, more police will be needed. According to Koval, Madison needs to have 2.5 officers per 1,000 residents, as opposed to the current 1.83 ratio.
For additional candidates to be considered for the 2017 class, they must turn in applications to MPD by Nov. 1, 2016.