Amid city debt problems, the Harrisburg Police Department has been losing police officers. And, of course, crime continues.
But there was word Tuesday that plans are underway to bolster the Harrisburg police force. Police officials said the city is looking to hire 19 officers.
"We want to make Harrisburg a safer place...make our visitors that come to our city feel safe, be it to our nightclubs, be it the people that work here," said Sgt. Thomas Carter.
The Dauphin County Chiefs of Police Testing Consortium Hiring Process is coming up. Applications are due August 7. A physical fitness test will be held August 24 and 25 at Harrisburg Area Community College, with an aptitude test scheduled for the next weekend.
"We'd like somebody that possesses the mental and physical capacity to become a police officer," said Derry Township Police Chief Pat O'Rourke, who is on the board of the consortium. "We see some that show up out of shape, that did not prepare for the physical agility test and sometimes that doesn't pan out real well for them."
While many residents of Harrisburg would like to see more than 19 officers hired, there are limitations.
"Firefighters and police aren't cheap," said Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski. "So making sure that we have enough money to pay for them, which is an extremely important resource, it has to work hand in hand. Yes, the need is there, but we have to make sure we have the money to pay for them."
For more on the application process, visit https://dauphin.crimewatchpa.com/3/content/2013-police-testing