The Duncan Banner

March 9, 2014

DPD aims to fill five staff vacancies

Tyler Boydston
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The Duncan Police Department is looking for five new officers.

Of the department’s 43 patrol officers,  two are females and one is Hispanic. There are no African-American officers.

The city’s search for five new officers  includes anyone who is qualified, said Chief of Police Daniel Ford.

The five vacancies the department hopes to fill include two officers who retired, one officer that went to another profession and two new positions allocated to the department.

New officers certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training earn $13.63 an hour starting out, while those not yet certified make $12.98 an hour, according to Capt. Brian Attaway.

The rate of pay is different between police officers and sheriff’s deputies in the county, with deputies at $2,800 a month.

Sheriff Wayne McKinney said the sheriff’s department is at capacity for deputies, but it is looking for jailers.

Ford said the application process for patrol officers takes several steps, beginning with applications that go through the personnel department to Lt. Rick Lane, who interviews all potential officers.

Applicants take a variety of tests, including agility and written portions, with the agility test having two options. One option includes a 1-1/2-mile run in 14 minutes, 26 push-ups and 34 sit-ups. The second option has a half-mile run in 4 minutes, 15 seconds, 34 push-ups and 46 crunches.

“Option one is more for runners, while option two is more for people with upper-body strength,” Lane said.

Potential officers have 90 minutes to complete the reading portion of the test, which includes arithmetic, reading and writing.

Applicants must pass a background check, administered by a review board and administrative review board.

Ford said, after getting a tentative offer of employment, the applicants have to go through a psychological exam and medical physical in Oklahoma City, performed by the pension board, and a polygraph test in Duncan, where the honesty of each potential officer is determined.

The administrative council makes applications and sends them to the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training  once a decision on employment is made. The new hires are then sent to a basic training academy in Ada.

Lane said the agility tests given in Duncan help the applicants for the basic training.

“We haven’t had any problems with people going through physical training at the academy after Duncan,” Lane said.

The CLEET academy lasts for 13-1/2 weeks.

“They learn everything from cultural diversity, human relations, criminal investigations, firearms, self-defense, defensive driving and domestic intervention to mental-health intervention. It’s a litany of things they have to go through,” Ford said.

Ford said the most important things about being an officer, and the most important qualities he is looking for in a new recruit, are honesty, integrity and a dedication to service.

“You have to have people who know the right thing to do, but not only know it — they do it,” Ford said. “You have to have people that, even when it hurts, they tell the truth.

“We’re looking for people who have a servant’s heart. It’s not about authority and it’s not about a dictatorship, it’s about being a servant. We’re here to serve the public.”

Ford said the application process takes several steps for an officer to be hired.

Though they are hiring for patrol officers, the Duncan Police Department also has several different specialized fields, including the dive team, special response team, bicycle patrol, lake patrol, advanced accident investigators, arson investigators and firearms instructors.

Ford, who started in law enforcement in 1975, said the training has changed since he first began.

“We’ve gone from training that was Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training only, and it was three or four weeks in length, to now where they come out of basic training they go to field training programs, which are 14 weeks in length,” Ford said.

Ford said he noticed a few other changes in the line of duty over the course of his tenure at the DPD, with advancements in technology allowing for computer software in the patrol cars, and portable radios and cell phones allowing for easier communication amongst officers.

More information on the Duncan Police Department can be found on its website,