PUBLIC HEARING: Shelton police hiring rules may be altered

A public hearing on proposed changes to the police hiring ordinance in Shelton will take place Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in the City Hall auditorium.

The hearing before the Board of Aldermen has been rescheduled from an earlier date.

One goal of the proposed changes is to create an expedited process to hire individuals already certified to be police officers in the state, partly because of the difficulty of placing recruits in police training academies on a timely basis.

The Shelton Police Department may hire up to six police officers in 2014, due mostly to the large number of recent retirements. The department has about 50 certified officers but is budgeted for about 10 more than that.

'Hire people when we need them'

The changes would generally require less testing and training for people to join the Shelton force if they already are certified to be Connecticut police officers.

Police Chief Joel Hurliman said already-certified personnel would be kept on a separate hiring list, allowing them to join the Shelton force quickly when openings become available.

“This would allow us to hire people when we need them,” Hurliman said.

“Other places have an expedited hiring process, and this would enable us to compete with them,” he said.

Now, when openings become available, Shelton often has to try to place new hires in training academies, but open slots in the academies are not always available. Recruits also must successfully complete academy training.

Already-certified personnel do not have to go through an academy, although other, localized training is involved.

Mayor: 'Would make it easier and simpler'

Certified personnel usually are police officers in other towns who may want to work in Shelton due to geographic convenience, family reasons, and other reasons.

Mayor Mark Lauretti said he favors streamlining the process by changing the ordinance.

“This would make it easier and simpler to hire existing certified officers from other towns,” Lauretti said.