YOUNGSTOWN - The police department wants to attract more minority and women candidates when the next entry-level test is given this year.
Wednesday, the department held a photo shoot in the parking lot of the Covelli Centre for a recruiting poster. Officers posed with special gear and vehicles such as the Bomb Squad truck and SWAT team vehicle known as ''The Bear.''
Staff Inspector Lt. Brian Butler said the department will give an entry-level civil service exam in November. From that list, the department will be hiring five to 10 officers. That list will expire after two years, Butler said.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Joe Gorman
Members of the Youngstown Police Department, led by Police Chief Rod Foley, in white shirt, pose in the parking lot of the Covelli Centre on Wednesday for a recruiting poster. The department looks to add five to 10 more officers and will be giving examinations in November.
Since police Chief Rod Foley took over last September, the city has added 15 officers to the patrol ranks and hopes to add another two by the end of this month, thanks to a federal grant that will pay the salaries for two years for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Butler said he also will be meeting with the police department's chaplains and ask them if they can spread the word with their congregations that the department is looking for officers.
Foley said the city is also looking to increase the number of city residents who take the test. Butler noted that city residents receive an additional 15 percentage points on the test for being local.
Councilman Nathan Pinkard, D-3rd Ward, head of council's Safety Committee and a former chief of Mill Creek MetroParks Police, said he applauds the department's efforts to reach out to minorities and women.
''The police department should reflect the makeup of the community it serves,'' Pinkard said.
Pinkard said he thinks minority participation may have fallen off because of perceptions of the department in the city, so anything that could be done to highlight a career in law enforcement could help get more of them to take the test, he said.
''That might stimulate recruitment,'' Pinkard said.
Pinkard said he wants to make sure new officers are brought on slowly, so they can have time to mesh with veteran officers, especially since several officers on patrol are eligible for retirement. He said he wants the right mix of veterans and young officers working when the retirements take effect so there is a lot of experience still on the road.