Lake Charles Police taking applications - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles Police recruiting event set Saturday

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Officer Carlos Spina is one the Lake Charles Police Department's newest rookies.

After months at the Academy and field training, he'll soon be patrolling the streets solo.

"I've always wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. I was in the military and was with military police. Several members of my family are officers. It's just something I've always seen myself doing," said Spina.

LCPD is looking for more officers like Spina. The department is currently down eight patrol officers due to retirements and other officers moving up in rank. 

"The biggest quality we are looking for is an individual that is motivated, easy to train and really wants to do the job. It's not just a paycheck. You have got to buy into the lifestyle. You have got to buy into the mindset of being a police officer," said Corporal Larry Moss, LCPD.

Moss encourages anyone who thinks they have what it takes to apply. This coming Saturday, March 30, the department is holding a recruitment day. To qualify up front, you have to be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.

To make it to the next level of training, applicants will have to pass a physical agility test as well as a psychological screening. That begins a lengthy process to get new officers in uniform and out on the street.

"It's a long process. They will have at least six weeks of training before going to the Academy. Once in the Academy, that will be another 10 to 12 weeks. After that, each officer will have four to six months of field training with veteran officers before they are on the job by themselves. In that time, we look to prepare them for every possible situation they could face while on the job," said Moss.

Officer Spina has been field training for about five months. In this stage of training, the officer Spina is shadowing lets him take the lead.

"It's an adrenaline rush all the time, you never know what to expect," said Spina.

If you have the desire to wear the badge, Lake Charles Police wants to hear from you. They will tell you it's a lot of work but at the end of the day, very rewarding.

"You may have saved someone's life. They don't realize it, you don't realize it until later when you look back and go - man, I probably did something that helped that guy stay alive. And that's very rewarding. Again, you have to be in this job because you want to do the job and want to help people," said Moss.

"It's a great privilege and it's just giving back to the community and it's just a great honor to know I can be a part of changing someone's life," said Spina.

The department is only looking for serious candidates. For one officer, the investment by the City of Lake Charles is about $75,000, which includes training, equipment and a full year's salary.

The Lake Charles Police Recruiting Day event is Saturday, March 30 at 8 a.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center in the Contraband Room. Applicants are asked to be there early. For information, you can call LCPD at 491-1311 and ask for Cpl. Moss.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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