Ten new police officers joined the Bloomington Police Department in one class this fall—the largest group to start at one time.
“We wanted the best possible candidates, so I changed the hiring process to be values based,” Chief Booker T. Hodges said. “We looked at candidates’ core values because at the end of the day, I can train most people how to drive a car or write a report, but that inner core piece is something that you really can’t train people on. I wanted to be sure we had people who matched our core value of respect.”
The new recruits come from many different backgrounds. There are former correctional officers, carpenters, cadets, deputies, makeup artists and more.
“Having a department that is reflective of the community, I believe, will allow us to continue to be the most respectful and most respected department in the country,” Hodges said.
The group is going through a seven-week academy instead of the usual six weeks. Not many police departments in Minnesota have their own academies. Bloomington Police’s academy covers a gamut of topics—firearms, first aid, arrest control and emergency driving, to name a few.
“Our goal with the Police Department here is to get them prepared to make appropriate decisions that follow case law, state statutes and our policy,” Training Sergeant Tom Maloney said. “The community deserves to have highly trained officers who are ready to respond to a variety of calls.”
The group will finish the in-house academy and move to field training with officers out on patrol the week of October 24. Go more in-depth in a video about the new officers at blm.mn/bpd-hires.