WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Waterbury Police Department is looking for its next class of recruits, and it is emphasizing the benefits of having its own police academy.
The police recruits are learning CPR Friday at Waterbury’s police academy.
“It’s a 32-week long program,” explained Lt. Mark Russo, the man in charge of Waterbury’s Police Academy. “Recruits, they’re involved in academic training, physical fitness training, as well as practical skills training for real-life application of the skills that they will learn.”
While the academy is open to recruits from nearby departments as well, most plan on making a career in the Brass City. Russo said doing their training in the city gives them a good start.
“They run through the city. They do practical skills training in the city environment,” Russo said. “We go out and we do community engagement within the city.”
Waterbury is actively recruiting the next class of officers. They made a flashy video showing all the different jobs you can do within the department, riding around on two wheels or four, or four legs. Waterbury is the only department in the state that still has a mounted division.
“Being a police officer is the only opportunity that you have to do something different every day and to positively impact people’s lives,” Waterbury Police Lt. Ryan Bessette said.
The death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests made recruitment more challenging for a while. Plus, COVID-19 pandemic labor shortages have made it tougher to hire for any job. Still, Waterbury has received more than 100 applications so far from all kinds of people.
“We look for people with all various backgrounds, skills, connections with the community,” Russo said. “A good police officer is someone who cares about the community, cares about the people that they are going to work with.”
If being a Waterbury Police officer sounds like something you’d like to do, you have until Feb. 16 to submit your application. For more information, visit wtbypd.org/careers