As part of a comprehensive recruiting program, the Palestine Police Department is hosting a civil service test to recruit new officers on Saturday, March 29. Applications for the test must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, March 21.
No certification is required to apply. Certified applicants who gain employment with the department go immediately into the field. However, those with no prior experience or certification will spend the first eight months of employment attending the police academy and participating in on-the-job training.
With an authorized strength of 38 sworn personnel, the department currently has nine vacancies.
Over the last several months, with the help of the Palestine City Council, the department reports it has become more competitive in pay-scale, recently approving an 8 percent pay raise for officer level ranks, and 4 percent for supervisory positions.
Additionally, the City of Palestine boasts a competitive benefits package, offering health insurance to employees with no up-front premiums, reduced premiums for family members and low cost dental, vision and supplementary insurance policies. Other benefits include longevity pay, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement certification pay up to a maximum of $350 per month, shift differential pay and a family membership to the Palestine YMCA.
The city is a Texas Municipal Retirement System contributor, with a two to one match, and vesting after five years of service. The department also provides uniforms, a protective vest and duty gear, including a duty firearm.
An incentive for officers with experience is the Lateral Transfer Program, which allows an applicant with previous police service, either in Texas or nationally, to gain credit in pay corresponding with their experience level.
For candidates who have not attended a police academy, the city will pay a salary to the employee during the academy, provide transportation if needed and cover tuition expenses associated with completed academy training.