OCEAN CITY – Each year the Ocean City Police Department’s summer applicant pool increases by about 100, usually resulting in about a 50-percent test failure rate before the number of eligible applicants surface.
On Monday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Captain Greg Guiton gave the Police Commission an update on the department’s 2014 testing cycle for both seasonal and full-time police officer and Public Safety Aids (PSA).
The 2014 testing dates were held in August, October, November and December of 2013 as well as two dates in January and once in February of the New Year.
There were 803 applicants, with 646 being for police and 157 for PSA. Guiton explained OCPD was expecting at least 900 applicants this year but due to the weather and most applicants being in college, exam dates were changed to call on the same day as the department’s applicant testing dates.
“The next part is what I call the eliminator of a two-day test process,” Guiton said. “We do a pre-screening and the obvious disqualifications for police officer in the State of Maryland have to do with drug use, which you disqualify permanently or over a period of time. The rest of the test failures are the physical test, which is the physical abilities test that we give and the oral interview.”
There were 220 who failed the pre-screen, 80 test failures, 12 physical test failures and 58 oral interview failures, which resulted in 75 eligible PSA applicants and 356 eligible police applicants.
Out of the eligible applicants, there are 290 seasonal and 179 full-time police applicants and 66 seasonal and 17 full-time PSA applicants.
In comparison to prior years, 2012 had 601 applicants, 2013 had 703 applicants, which was about a 17-percent increase from 2012, and 2014, had 803 applicants, which is about a 14 percent increase from 2013. Each year there is close to just under 50 percent failed applicant testing rate with about 44 percent failing in 2013 and 46 percent failing in 2014.
“Our failure rate has remained pretty consistent under 50 percent,” Capt. Guiton said. “That is about what you find in most police agencies. They have about 50 percent failure rate from the time the applicant walks in until they go through the basic testing process.”
OCPD also tracks demographics of applicants, which helps determine where to focus recruiting efforts in future years. In 2014, the majorities of applicants were male, about 84 percent, and close to 16 percent were female. The majority of applicants are Caucasian, about 85 percent.