Fifty-six people from across the coast went through grueling physical and written tests Saturday to see if they have what it takes to become a Biloxi police officer. Twice a year, the police department tests potential applicants.
The day started off at Yankie Stadium with a variety of agility tests. Recruiting more men and women is crucial right now because the Biloxi Police Department is short 21 officers. Officials say the department has been in a constant hiring mode for the last several years. They say part of the problem is that the screening process for applicants can take between three to six months.
"Right after the agility test, the written test, there's several other things we have to go through--background investigation, psychological test and things like that because we want to be very particular about the individual," Maj. Rodney McGilvary from the Biloxi Police Department said. "We do extensive background to make sure we get the top quality applicants to come work for us."
The Biloxi Police Department has tried recruiting at colleges across the state and at job fairs on the coast and in Jackson. Officials have even advertised in other states. The starting pay for a Biloxi officer is $25,400 a year.