Westchester County will be holding a police officer civil service exam for the first time in five years and a special effort is under way to encourage more people of color to take the test and pursue a law enforcement career. The exam will be held May 15 or May 16. The deadline to file to take the test is March 29. Details are available on www.westchestergov.com/hr.
“It is more important than ever that our police departments reflect the diversity of the communities they serve,” Latimer said. “That is a message we have heard consistently in a year where police reform and reimagining has been a top priority. The goal of increasing the diversity of our police departments begins with having a diverse pool of applicants take this test.”
Aaron Moore, President of the Ossining NAACP Branch said, “The public outcry following the police killings of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor and others in 2020 has highlighted the long history of abuse that minority communities have suffered because of bias in law enforcement. If society is serious about moving beyond the legacy of police harassment and abuse that African Americans have endured, the nature of policing must change. Bringing more people of color into the law enforcement system will be an important part of this change.”
The exam, to be administered by the County’s Department of Human Resources, will result in a list of eligible police officer candidates for the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the cities of Rye and Peekskill, and all towns and villages in the County.
“In a career as a Law Enforcement Officer, you have an opportunity to learn and grow as a person,” said Sergeant Paul Hood (Ret) of the Sleepy Hollow Police Department, and President of the Westchester Rockland Guardians Association. “It affords you the opportunity to make a positive difference in the communities you serve, allowing you to become a beacon of light to many.”
Matthew Lewis, a detective with the Westchester County Police, is also encouraging young men and women of color to take the upcoming test. Lewis had his eye on a career in sports media when he was a college but took a police exam after a police department recruiter chatted with him on campus.
“I have my degree in broadcasting and I took the police exam as a Plan B. Plan B turned into Plan A,” Lewis said. He has never looked back or regretted his choice. “I love what I do and I wouldn’t be in my 27th year if I didn’t. I would advise anyone to take a look at a law enforcement career. I have had a very rewarding career, and as an African-American male I know I’ve made a difference,” he said.
Anyone interested in knowing more about the Westchester County Police can find information on the Department’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages; on its You Tube channel; and on the Department’s website. Organizations interested in setting up a virtual presentation can send an e-mail request to email@example.com.
Among the requirements to take the test:
- All candidates for the exam must be a legal resident of Westchester County at the time of the test and for at least one month prior to it. Candidates will be required to submit proof of residency when requested
- Applicants must not have reached their 35th birthday by the test date; exceptions are made for persons with military service
- A high school diploma or equivalent is required
- U.S. citizenship is required to be appointed as a police officer. It is not required to take the civil service exam