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By Bill Leukhardt
The Hartford Courant

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The city's police department is having a monthlong drive to attract applicants for 17 vacancies in the force, which should have 160 officers instead of its current 143.
"We are encouraging people to apply. We're looking for a mix of people who reflect our community," Chief William Gagliardi said Wednesday.
The deadline to apply for the job of entry-level police officer is Oct. 31. Candidates will first have to pass physical agility and condition tests, which will be given in early November.
People who pass those tests will then undergo further evaluation. Final recruits for the 17 openings will attend a police academy that the department will offer. It most likely will start next March with a class of about 30, including recruits from other Connecticut departments.
"This is not a short hiring process. It takes about six months to go through the applications and do background checks, polygraphs and other necessary screening," Gagliardi said. "We want to make sure we pick the best candidates."
The yearly salary for recruits is $47,957. Their annual pay increases to $53,362 after graduation from the city's police academy.
Pay goes to $55,672 after 16 months on the job and to $58,073 after 28 months.
The vacancies are the result of retirements, career-ending disabilities and resignations, Gagliardi said.
Applicants should not have felony convictions, recent use of illegal drugs, poor employment history or a bad driving record. People must be at least 20 to apply and at least 21 at the time of appointment to the force after graduation.
The department is contacting area colleges and civic groups to tell people about the opportunity to apply for a job on the police force. Gagliardi said the department is going to host a breakfast meeting later this month with religious leaders in the city to "seek their helping finding qualified candidates."
City civil service rules give hiring preference to New Britain residents but people who live out of town are encouraged to apply.

Applications are available in the civil service office in New Britain City Hall, 27 W. Main St., and at the front desk of police headquarters, 125 Columbus Blvd.

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