Eau Claire Police talk about hiring process for new officers

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EAU CLAIRE, WI (WEAU) -- The Eau Claire Police Department is hiring - hoping to fill spots of retiring officers.

They met the first wave of candidates on Saturday.

It is not a standard job interview. There are no suits - no ties. Instead, more than 100 candidates met Eau Claire Police officers at UW-Eau Claire's McPhee Center, dressed in shorts and shirts, ready to run and write. All of them trying to stand out in the pack.

"The Eau Claire Police Department hires people in our community that fit our police department, we're not just out to hire anybody," said Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department.

That is what this day is dedicated to - several tests to help decide who would be a good fit for the department. It includes a writing exam and several physical tests, including sit ups, jumping and a 1.5 mile run that has to be done in 15 minutes.

All the events are pass/fail.

Those that move on from here will go on to police and fire commission interviews. After that, officers will travel to candidates' towns for background checks.

Those that get a conditional offer for employment will also go through psychological, polygraph and drug testing.

Officer Kyle Roder says having the right people for the job is essential. Candidates should be good with communication, community outreach and problem solving. They should be ready to respond to something like a hostage situation that happened this past week.

Officer Bridget Coit was interviewing two years ago as a candidate. She remembers the feeling candidates were going through on Saturday.

"You feel nervous, comparing yourself to the other candidates when there is 200 people and you're trying to stand out," Coit said.

She likes days like this, knowing someone at the tests could become her next colleague.

"It's nice to have come that far just in the two years I've been here to get back and encourage the new recruits," she said.

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