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DPS hangs out the help wanted sign

The American Samoa government is recruiting twenty cadets for the Department of Public Safety police academy later this year, and the Department of Human Resources (DHR) has put out a notice about accepting applications.


This hiring is exempted from the governor’s order last year that puts a freeze on ASG hiring, according to the DHR advertisement, which outlines the responsibilities, knowledge, skills and abilities of a new recruit.


Among the academic and experience requirements is that the applicant must be at least 21-years old, have an Associate Degree or a high school graduate plus three years of work related experience.


DHR says applicants must complete all five parts of the selection process: written examination; physical fitness test; applicant Information and background investigation; psychological evaluation; and oral interview. Complete information is available at DHR Personnel Division. (See last Friday’s Samoa News for the advertisement for more details).


The new police academy session was first revealed early last month by Police Commissioner William Haleck during a House committee hearing, saying that  the current police force is only 148 sworn officer compared to the territory’s population of more than 55,000.


Haleck says there is a dire need to recruit more officers and a police academy is being planned for May this year for 20 cadets


Upon graduation from the academy, Haleck says each of the four police substation and the Central station will get five new officers each. He says funding for the academy has been secured to train and hire these officers, who hopefully will be on board by August this year.


More than $100,000 is allocated in the current fiscal year for the police academy, according to the FY 2014 budget document.


Lawmakers have urged the government to hire more police officers to help combat, what they describe, as the rising crime rate in the territory.


Samoa News points out that American Samoa has about 2.68 officers for every 1,000 residents.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics a city with a population of 55,000 needs to have 1.8 officers for every 1,000 residents.