The Brookline Police Department is encouraging residents to take the Massachusetts Civil Service examination as a first step to joining the force. Brookline is a residential preference hire community. Those who have lived in Brookline for at least one year before taking the exam, are 21 years of age, along with fulfilling other requirements will be given priority in the hiring process. The application deadline for those interested in taking the exam with hopes of joining Brookline PD is February 21, 2017.

The exam has three parts, a written test, a questionnaire section, and a survey on candidates’ life experiences. Each section is designed to measure qualities that are necessary for becoming an entry-level police officer and determines whether the applicants are eligible for police work.

The department has expressed that building a diverse team is important. “We hope to be able to build upon the diversity of the class we recently hired,” Chief of Police Daniel O’Leary wrote in a letter to Town Counsel Joslin Murphy on Dec. 1, 2016. “We have put in place a plan for recruiting a diverse group of young men and women for our Department.”

As part of this program, on Nov. 4, 2016, the Department hired ten new officers from the Lowell Police Department; four of which were women, two Asian, and one African American. “This class represents the most diverse class in the Department’s history,” Officer Casey Hatchett of the Brookline Police Department stated in a letter dated Dec. 2, 2016, to O’Leary regarding racial diversity, community outreach, and organizational culture. According to the letter, currently, 13 percent of Brookline Police Department are female officers, 8 percent Latino and Hispanic, 7 percent Asian, and 6 percent African American.

BrooklinePD recently also released a recruitment video.

By Vekonda Luangaphay