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Township To Rely On Police Officer Hiring Pool

SANATOGA PA – Candidates for future law enforcement job openings in the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department are likely to be chosen from a multiple-municipality pool of applicants that has already been vetted and pre-qualified to do the work, the township Board of Commissioners has agreed.

Board members unanimously approved a request by Police Chief Michael Foltz to have the township join the Montgomery County Consortium Of Communities and benefit from its unified police officer preliminary application process. Foltz hopes the change will save his budget $4,500 or more a year in officer candidate testing costs.

In a related action, the board also separately approved amendments to township Civil Service Commission regulations. They will permit use of the consortium and its application process, and authorize the commission to accept candidates from its resulting lists to fill vacancies. They also raised from 18 to 21 the minimum age of qualified applicants.

Police departments in Upper Pottsgrove and Limerick townships, and the borough of Norristown are among participating agencies that in the past have relied on the consortium to help fill officer openings. The consortium has provided its service for many years, Foltz said.

Officer candidates generally must meet specific citizenship, educational, training, and licensing requirements before being allowed to take a written examination and a physical agility test that are the first steps in qualification. The names of a percentage of those who successfully pass both are compiled by the consortium for potential review, interviews, and further testing by hiring agencies.

Lower Pottsgrove has done much of that work itself in the past, Foltz explained. While the effort yielded quality candidates, some of whom the department now employs, it was costly, time-consuming, and often produced a small list of potential hires, he said.

The consortium will now handle that work instead, and cover its costs by collecting application fees. That simplifies and speeds the hiring process, and dramatically reduces the related expense, according to the chief.

The consortium last conducted its exams during September 2014 at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell. Another series may be scheduled in late summer or the fall, Foltz said.

Commissioners’ Vice President and Police Committee Chairman Stephen Klotz said using the consortium would help in further “refining our police hires.” The board’s approving votes occurred during its May 21 (2015; Thursday) meeting.

Lower Pottsgrove Township To Rely On Police Officer Hiring PoolRelated (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ May 21 meeting):

Composite photo by The Post from Google images

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