Village creates pool of qualified police candidates

By on December 25, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The village of Sugar Grove recently sent out a request for applications from individuals who wish to become Sugar Grove police officers. Although the department does not yet have approval to hire additional officers, Police Chief Brad Sauer said the force has to have an active pool of qualified candidates available for when it does get the green light to hire.

The first hurdle applicants must pass to be considered for the job is a physical test. Last Saturday, the 101 applicants who passed the physical test took a written test of their skills in math, report-writing, grammar, reading comprehension and coming up with common-sense solutions to specific scenarios.

Those who receive a passing grade on the written test will then interview for the job with members of the Police Commission. The same company that creates the written test establishes the questions for the interviews and determines what the answers should be, Sauer said.

“They (Stanard & Associates, Inc.) know what responses will get the best officers,” he said.

Each interview question is looking for specific qualities that the department wants in its officers, said Rick Montalto, Sugar Grove Board member and former police commissioner.

After the oral interviews are completed, the list is established. Points are added for an individual’s military experience and college degree. Before someone is hired, they must also pass a psychological test, a physical exam and a background check, Sauer said.

The new officers then attend the police academy, where the curriculum includes topics such as criminal and constitutional law, self defense, firearms and report writing. Field training takes place once the officer has completed the academy requirements.

“It could be six months before a new officer is out on their own on the street,” Montalto said.

Two individuals recently retired from the force, but due to a hiring freeze, the village has not yet been able to replace them, Montalto said. However, with budget discussions taking place in April for the new fiscal year, the new budget could include new-officer staff salaries, he said.