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"We are very close partners with the Japanese School of Detroit, in Novi," he said. "We want to help Asians who are moving and coming to Novi. Any given Saturday, you have 800 families coming to the school here, and we are looking for ways to reach them."
One way Novi has worked to attract candidates is by having a police cadet program for many years. Molloy said the program has worked as a feeder system to the department, resulting in dozens of applications for open positions, while still holding hiring standards high.
"We have had a bachelor's degree requirement for 40-plus years," he said. "We were one of the first in the state to mandate that. I don't think we should lower our standards at any point and time, we should hire and retain the best people, regardless of their race."
The Bloomfield Township Police Department also requires officers to have a bachelor's degree, said Capt. Scott McCanham, who said the department works with EMPCO Inc. to find potential candidates, as well as the Macomb County police academy.
"We require a bachelor's degree. That sort of thins out the recruits to begin with," he said. "We are looking for the best officer, versus gender or race."
Of the 66 sworn officers in the Bloomfield Township department, McCanham said seven are female; one is Hispanic ; one is Asian American; and one is Chaldean.
"We are actively recruiting out of all minority groups, but it's hard to get qualified candidates. The academy classes are as big as ever," he said. "We focus on what we have to offer here. The competition is extremely stiff, and so many departments are hiring with the economy recovering. They are all filling those spots that they cut five or eight years ago."
One change from previous years is that departments are often hiring officers that are already accredited or have gone through a training academy. In prior years, departments would often send new recruits to a training academy as part of the training process. However, companies like EMPCO, which is utilized by several departments in Oakland County, provide candidates who are already trained.
"We tell EMPCO what we want, and we hope there are minorities there," said Detective Lt. Curt Lawson of the West Bloomfield Police Department. "The community itself is very diverse. Chaldean, Jewish, African American, Hmong, Russian – it's a mixing bowl here. Even though our officers are predominantly white, we provide diversity training. They are comfortable in their own skin working in this community."...continued on page 9