Some proposed changes are underway for the Middletown Police Department. They are considering expanding who may be eligible to apply. YNN's Jessica Chen has the details.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- What it will take to become a Middletown police officer might be changing soon.
"We're just trying to remain competitive in the public safety market and get the best possible candidate we can," said Middletown Police Chief Ramon Bethencourt Jr.
He said they are proposing to allow those with 30 college credits to be eligible to apply for the police officer examination, as long as they have three years of military service in the United States.
"There are certain training I believe the military provides that can't be duplicated and I believe, in my opinion, it puts that officer at an advantage," said Chief Bethencourt.
Previously, only those with 60 college credits were eligible to apply.
"While they were fighting for our country in Afghanistan, somebody else might have been getting 60 credits in college and we were saying no the kids coming back from Afghanistan and yes to the person in college," said Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano. "This makes the playing field a little more even."
Mayor DeStefano said this proposed change comes at a time when many military members are now returning home.
"They were put in place prior to all the wars that the country has been in since the 90s, so those standards were standards that may have fit the city's motto back then," said DeStefano.
The Middletown Police Commission approved the change in September. It now goes to the Civil Service Commission where they will vote on it in October.
"We're hoping this will broaden the pool and at the same time recognize the efforts of the veterans coming home," said DeStefano.
The police officer examination will be held in the spring of 2014. Chief Bethencourt said he plans to hire five police officers once the examination is over.