Administrators expect to have several temporary police officers on the street in February, which would be a step toward filling eight vacancies in the Coatesville Police Department.The city is using a provisional hiring process, under civil service regulations, to bring in temporary officers, according to a prepared statement issued Monday.
A provisional appointment, under the regulations, is a "temporary, noncompetitive appointment of a qualified candidate ... pending the establishment of an eligibility list for the position."
An eligibility list consists of police applicants ranked in the order they scored on written and oral tests. The city is supposed to hire from the list. The city said it contacted all 33 candidates on its existing list and interviewed the 10 who were available. Also interviewed, the city said, were 12 candidates found through a separate recruitment process.
The city said all 22 candidates are Act 120 certified, which means they can work immediately after they are hired.
It appears, under the city's outline, candidates from the existing eligibility list and the new recruits will compete for the temporary positions.
Candidates must first pass an "accelerated exam," which includes background, medical and psychological exams. Applicants are slated to take the first part of the accelerated exam this month, administrators said.
Those who pass the exam may be eligible to receive conditional offers for temporary employment, administrators said. Applicants who do not receive a provisional offer will be considered for employment when the city drafts a new eligibility list, administrators said.
Under the provisional hiring, City Council must approve any nominees, according to civil service regulations.
The commission has 30 days after a provisional hiring to hold a competitive exam and create a new eligibility list, the rules state.
The civil service regulations state: "Whenever there are urgent reasons for the filling of a vacancy in any position in the police department and there are no names on the eligibility list for such appointment, the City Council may nominate a person to the commission for noncompetitive examination.
"Such a nominee may be certified by the commission as qualified after such noncompetitive examination and may be appointed provisionally to fill such a vacancy. It shall thereupon become the duty of the commission, within 30 days, to hold a competitive examination and certify a list of eligibles and a regular appointment shall then be made from the name or names submitted by the commission ..."
In a prepared statement, Police Chief William Matthews said several new officers will be on the street in February.
"By utilizing the department's recruiting slogan - Could you answer the call? - we hope to have as many as five or six new police officers before a new civil service eligibility list is created," Matthews said in the statement.
Matthews did not respond to requests Thursday for more information regarding the hiring process.
The Coatesville Police Department has 34 positions, of which an estimated seven are vacant. In addition, Lt. Matthew Gordon has been on suspension since October. Acting Lt. Alan Bernard, a detective, retires today.
More resignations are expected this year and one detective is expected to retire this summer.