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Police Academy Testing Begins in Hagerstown

"We want to see people who obviously come in here knowing this is a physical job and they've prepared themselves for the job. This starts weeding out those who really haven't prepared," said David Long, the recruiting and training coordinator at the Hagerstown Police Department.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The process of becoming a certified police officer takes weeks before you even enter the police academy and for the Hagerstown Police Department, it all starts with getting physical.

WHAG's Kirstin Garriss stopped by the police's physical testing session on Friday to see what it takes to make it to the academy.

This is just the beginning for potential candidates trying to make it to the police academy with the Hagerstown Police Department.

"We want to see people who obviously come in here knowing this is a physical job and they've prepared themselves for the job. This starts weeding out those who really haven't prepared," said David Long, the recruiting and training coordinator at the Hagerstown Police Department.

But it wasn't just every candidate for themselves, some were pushing each other to the finish line.

"These guys are out here not just for themselves, they're out here to help other people to get through this," said Long. "I think yeah that stands out in our head and you make a mental note of that."

Potential candidates must pass every part of the physical exam before moving on to the written portion. If they pass both, the next step is the interview process.

The majority of the candidates at this session would be new recruits and if they're hired by the police department, they would enter the police academy at Hagerstown Community College in July.

"Out of all the academies I applied for I would rather do Hagerstown. I mean I know this town, city like the back of my hand," said Alex Garvin II, a potential police academy candidate.

For recruiters, that's exactly what they want to hear.

"We want local people, our big push is local community," said Long. "They're born and raised here so they have a connection to the community, they have a sense of service to their community so they stay here."

And for those who didn't make the cut, they're encouraged to prepare more and come back next time.

Starting next year, recruiters say they'll hold PT and written testing sessions four times a year to increase recruitment efforts.

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