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Waterford has seen a decline in qualified police candidates. So it started a program to better train them

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The Waterford, Connecticut, police department has launched a new program to stem the decline of qualified candidates who apply to the department. 

Sgt. David Ferland, who helps run the “Police Application To Hiring” or PATH course, said the four-hour program walks candidates through the entire hiring process. 

“As we started to see a decline the amount of candidates that apply for law enforcement as well as we thought they were missing some of the key parts — the oral panel, the physical agility and kind of what’s really expected of them," Ferland said. "So, it was started as a way for us to reach out to kind of recruit people but also get them more familiar with what’s expected of them through the hiring process and not just for our agency but any agency in the state.”  

The course walks candidates through a practice interview and a resume critique session. The department believes it’s the only program of its kind in the state.

Brittany Stupplebeen from Norwich, who took the course, said the course is invaluable. 

“I like that they have shown that I can connect what I learned in life, that I thought were like — why would I put down that worked at Subway, you know — that is actually something I can use with the department as far as communications skills, solving problems,” Stupplebeen said.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.