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BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS

The Police Department will conduct a thorough investigation of your background. You will be requested to authorize organizations and individuals who know you to release and verify relevant information about you. The Background Investigator will contact prior employers, relatives, and references. Information provided during these contacts may result in other individuals being contacted. The investigator will check into your employment history, credit status, driving record, and other pertinent information. A criminal history check will also be made. Next, you will be scheduled for an in-depth background interview with the Police Department Investigator. During this appointment, you will be fingerprinted.

POLICE APPLICANT SELECTION PROCESS

The Robinson Police Department (RPD) is a progressive, forward moving agency, always in search of career minded, qualified people to join our staff.

The selection process for police officers is vital to the operational effectiveness of any law enforcement agency, as a department can only be as good as its people.

As you move into the selection process, you would do well to treat each step as a "test". The application is not unlike much of police work, in that it requires a great deal of written instruction and communication. The work you do to retrieve the requested information is not unlike some investigative tasks performed by officers. We request that you are completely honest when you fill out the application and when you provide any other information, so that our assessment of your qualifications may be equally as honest.

THE SELECTION PROCESS

The selection process is quite lengthy and cannot be accomplished in a short time period. The process includes several steps, including:

Applicants should note that the information they provide to areas of concern such as employment history, driving record, criminal history, use of alcohol and/or illegal use of controlled substances or drugs, may not automatically be disqualifying. However, any false information, misstatement, or omission of material fact in reference to these concerns will subject the applicant to disqualification or dismissal.

The stages in the selection process are evaluated in different manners. Various stages of the selection process require a specific passing score, or they may be scored pass/fail only, while other steps do not receive any scoring. The following description of RPD's selection process will explain the steps in the process and how they are evaluated.

Initial Application

The initial application  form introduces you to us and informs us of your interest in our department. It is reviewed at each subsequent stage of the process to assist in evaluating your suitability for employment. You need to fill it out in detail by following the attached instructions. The form receives no point score, but the information is used to assist in the comprehensive personal background investigation which is a pass/fail step in the process.

Written Entrance Examination

The written entrance examination is a nationally accredited testing document. The test is timed and consists of  multiple choice questions that assess reading comprehension, abstract reasoning, and judgment, among other traits. You MUST score a minimum of 70% to pass the test.

Physical Agility Test

The physical agility test is a pass or fail portion of the selection process. The physical agility test consists of a continuous circuit of approximately 1200 feet and includes the following skills tests:

The entire course and skills test must be completed within 1 minute and 20 seconds. The obstacle course includes a four foot wall, climbing through a four foot tunnel, a balance beam, a body drag, an agility run, and weapon dexterity test of both strong hand and weak hands.

The body drag requires applicants to carry or drag a 120 pound simulated body 15 feet.

No points are awarded for the physical agility testing.

Comprehensive Personal Background Investigation

The personal history background form is a comprehensive, 36-page document. This document asks detailed and in-depth questions in order to better evaluate your suitability for employment. It needs to be filled out in detail, following the attached instructions. Should any problems or difficulties in an applicant's background cause that candidate to be passed over, the investigator will begin processing the background investigation on the next applicant. In most cases, approximately twice as many applicants will be processed through the background investigation, as there are vacancies. This allows for a natural attrition of applicants. Some applicants will accept other positions or withdraw; yet others may develop significant areas of concern in their background that cannot be overcome.

Various other steps in the background investigation include: fingerprint submittal to the Texas Department of Police Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), computer inquiries into your driving record and criminal history, and telephone and personal interviews of various references and acquaintances. The background investigation is a pass or fail step in the selection process.

Oral Interview Board

The oral interview board consists of at least four evaluators. A fifth member of the board acts as the moderator and is a non-scoring member of the board. The interview is approximately 25 minutes long. A series of standard questions are asked of each applicant along with questions that may assist the board in evaluating the information contained in the applicant's personal history background. Applicants will be scored from 1 to 5 by each evaluator.

Psychological Background

The psychological testing consists of a battery of tests that are evaluated by a licensed professional and are only offered to the top competitors. No score is awarded for this step in the selection process. The results of these tests, however, may cause a more detailed investigation into an applicant's personal background. The results of this subsequent investigation may be grounds for dismissal.

Polygraph Examination

As the pool for competitors decreases, the leading candidates are offered a polygraph examination, which is administered by a licensed polygraph examiner. The applicant will be given the questions prior to the test, and their intended responses are then discussed prior to the actual test. The results of this subsequent investigation may cause the applicant's disqualification.

Medical Examination

Some of the standards for which an applicant is evaluated include: vision, hearing, blood chemistry, and blood pressure. Applicants who have known health conditions that may cause disqualification are encouraged to submit detailed medical records to assist the examiner in making informed decisions on the applicant's passing or failing the medical standards. RPD incurs the expense of the initial medical examination. This step of the selection process is pass or fail.

Drug Screen

At the same time that the medical examination is conducted, a drug screen is also administered. The drug screen is a pass/fail step of the selection process.

RECRUIT OFFICER TRAINING PROGRAM

All applicants to RPD require a one year probationary period during which a newly appointed recruit officer must demonstrate their fitness for continued employment with the Department. All employees must be completely available for assignment to any shift assignment including: late evening, night time, day time, weekends, and holidays.

Upon employment, recruit officers attend an in-service orientation seminar conducted at RPD. This consists of classroom and hands-on training, and is approximately four weeks long.

Recruit officers enter RPD's Field Training and Evaluation (FTE) Program for 12 weeks of intensive, one-on-one training with specially trained Field Training Officers (FTOs). Recruits are evaluated daily during this FTE Program, and they receive instruction in the practical application of the academic training they have received to date. Those recruits who successfully complete the FTE Program will graduate to regular, solo patrol duties as a probationary Police Officer to complete their probationary period.