HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is in the midst of continuous recruitment for qualified candidates to join the police team.

As part of their recruitment efforts to make it easier for individuals to serve as police officers on Hawaiʻi Island, they have decided to open continuous recruitment; and this will be effective immediately.

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“In addition, we will soon begin hiring new officers early through a pilot program with the County,” said Chief Ben Moszkowicz.

Before making this move, interested individuals were only able to apply twice a year during a ten-day application window.

The new system now allows applicants to apply as an entry-level police officer year-round via the county’s website.

“Once potential new officers have completed the background check, polygraph, psychological and medical aspects of the process and are ready to be hired, we will be extending job offers, with recruits officially starting their one-year probation when they start the academy,” added Chief Moszkowicz.

In addition to the open call, the Hawai‘i County Department of Human Resources (DHR) will hold monthly tests for qualified applicants.

The first test is slated to be given on June 26. Officials indicated that about a week before the test date, DHR will close the continuous recruitment in order to finalize the list for June test-takers. Then, the Police Officer Recruit job announcement with new test dates for each subsequent month will be immediately reopened.

“We’ll also be increasing the number of recruit academy classes per year,” adds Chief Moszkowicz. “Once the department has between 10 and 20 candidates to fill a recruit class, roughly every four months, police officer recruits will undertake six months of academy training five days a week.”

Hawaiʻi Island police said that the starting salary for Police Officer I positions is $68,940 a year with benefits. These benefits include paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, military leave, health insurance, group life insurance, a uniforms and equipment stipend, automobile subsidy and retirement.

“This is different than before, when new recruits used to have to wait until a recruit class started, sometimes several months after they applied,” said Chief Moszkowicz. 

He went to explain further.

“By using this early-hire model, we hope to get people acclimated to the department’s culture, help them to find a mentor in the department and get them physically working out with the existing recruit classes. Then, their one-year probation period will begin when the recruit class starts,” added Chief Moszkowicz.

Interested applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduated from high school or obtained a GED.
  • Knowledge of grammar, spelling, and word usage.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Be at least 20 years of age at the time of filing and at least 21 years of age by the time of graduation from the Police Academy.
  • Be qualified to carry and/or possess firearms or ammunition in accordance with state and federal laws.
  • Must not have any misdemeanor or felony domestic violence convictions.
  • Meet the health and physical condition standards deemed necessary and proper to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations, such as have a correct ratio of weight to height; possess good eyesight and good physical condition and agility according to standards set by the County of Hawai‘i.

“While we’re making it easier to apply to be a police officer, the department remains committed to its rigorous screening and training program that graduates highly qualified officers,” added Chief Moszkowicz.

For more information, you can visit the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Police Officer Recruitment page.

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“After successful completion of academy training, new recruits will transition from an academic setting to four months of field training where they are paired with an experienced officer and gain hands-on experience, forming the foundation of their career,” concluded Chief Moszkowicz.