Holding police officers accountable for tests

By BRIAN BOHNERT
STAFF WRITER
Fostoria Civil Service Commission proposed a motion Thursday that could hold police officers financially accountable for study materials if they sign up for but do not take promotion exams.
The motion, which has yet to be officially drafted, would keep a tab of sorts for Fostoria police officers who sign up for promotion tests similar to the recently administered sergeant exam. This bookkeeping effort would bill officers for study materials if they declined to take the test after registering.
Civil Service Commission Chairperson Linda Cohen proposed the motion, expressing concern over the financial costs of officers not following through with plans to take the exams after receiving “costly” study materials from Cleveland-based testing agency, Clancy & Associates.
“That was a very costly exercise because (Clancy & Associates) came in at nine o’clock and they probably did not leave until one o’clock,” Cohen said. “It’s just the idea that when officers take out the application, we’ll send them a formal letter …”
Of the three officers that were narrowed down to take the recent sergeant exam, Cohen said one later declined to participate in the oral interview portion of the test.
The commission is looking to cast their vote for the motion at the next meeting, scheduled for 3 p.m. Feb. 13.
In other business, the commission appointed member Steve Moes as the group’s representative on the committee selected to choose the city’s next chief of police.
The committee is made up of Mayor Eric Keckler, Safety Service Director Allyson Murray, one councilperson, one member of the Civil Service Commission, one police officer from an accredited city or state police department/division, and one member of the public not associated with the city.
According to the official position description, a successful candidate must have a minimum of 10 years as a full-time Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) certified peace officer with a city/county/state police division/department, or 15 years as a part-time officer at a village police division/department.
A bachelor’s degree (or higher) or 15 years of relevant life experience like military police work, village/city police service, or time as a police instructor is also required, as well as “excellent management and leadership skills.”
While the process of accepting applications has yet to begin, Fostoria Police Capt. Patrick Brooks previously expressed his interest in the position. Brooks has served as the interim head of the police department after former chief John McGuire took a medical leave of absence more than a year ago.
At the meeting, Murray said the city will be accepting resumes, along with current salary history and/or salary expectations until 4 p.m. Feb. 12. All materials must be sent via email to admin@fostoriaohio.gov.

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