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The department does hire applicants with out-of-state certifications, using the same process as with uncertified applicants. If hired, an out-of-state certified officer generally must attend a special basic course at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for a period of at least 6 weeks.
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The Police Department uses the Surfside Beach Police Department (SBPD) Law Enforcement Application (PDF) as the first step. This application includes waivers required for background checks. Applications must be submitted in hardcopy format with handwritten "inked" signatures. Applications should be turned in to Town Hall in person or by mail.
The Command staff continually evaluates the department's hiring procedures to ensure we identify the best candidates while staying in compliance with best practices and applicable laws and regulations.
Generally, when the Police Chief approves a hiring process, all on-hand applications are reviewed by a screening committee consisting of experienced supervisors in the department including members of the command staff. Applicants are screened multiple times to narrow down the eligible candidates.
The department uses several tools to identify the best candidates including panel interviews, standardized testing, physical testing, psychological examination, and an intensive background investigation.
At the conclusion of the process, the hiring panel presents eligible candidates to the Police Chief for consideration.
While applicants with prior experience in law enforcement bring positive benefits to the department, a wider view of applicants is looked at. Several areas that are considered include military service, higher education, prior experience, and related experience. A lack of certification or experience should not discourage an interested person from applying; some of the department's most successful employees were hired with little to no experience in law enforcement.
Most of the department's positions require some level of department-mandated training.
Police Officers must successfully complete the field training and evaluation program (FTEP) as part of their conditional offer of employment. The FTEP for Police Officers is a minimum of 8 weeks (336 hours) for certified recruits and 12 weeks (504 hours) for uncertified recruits. Recruits train will train with several of the departments certified field training officers (FTO) and are constantly evaluated on their proficiency.
To be considered for a Police Officer position in Surfside Beach, applicants must meet certain minimum requirements to be considered including:
See the following detailed job descriptions for each of the department's entry-level positions:
Once a hiring cycle is approved by the Police Chief, the length of that cycle depends on the position being filled. In the case of a Police Officer position, the process can take several weeks for the formal process to be completed. Once the formal process is completed, selected candidates move to the background phase which can take an additional 2 to 4 weeks.
The department seeks only the best applicants and each application and applicant is examined on a case-by-case basis. Questions about specific situations should be directed toward a member of the department's command staff. Being honest and demonstrating integrity is essential and some situations may be disqualifiers only for certain positions. Some possible disqualifiers can include: