Lawton police department looking to hire 25 more officers

Lawton police department looking to hire 25 more officers

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) –The Lawton Police Department is looking to hire more police officers.

They already have a police academy in progress that will end in October, adding 8 officers to the force, but they are now accepting applications for another academy that will start in January, ideally adding 25 more people to the crew.

Detective Charlie Whittington says having an extra set of hands will help serve the community. They currently have 174 officers but they are looking to add more because they are understaffed. It's nearly impossible to get to 100 percent but they need all the help they can get.

With the recent shootings in Dallas, and officer-involved shootings happening across the U-S, Detective Charlie Whittington says there is always room for extra help.

"We would be looking for someone who has an honest and incredible background. Somebody who is determined, somebody who wants to do well for their community and someone to give back to the community", said Whittington.

For those who think the job is all about high-speed chases and shootouts, Detective Whittington says this job is not for them. They want a candidate who will go above and beyond the call of duty. They will also go through 20 weeks of various training exercises.

"We have a written exam, and an oral interview board. Once they make that qualifying score for those, they will go onto a chief interview, a polygraph, and a PR psychological exam", said Whittington.

Whittington has been with the Lawton Police Department for 12 years. His father is a retired cop, and he always knew this is what he wanted to do. Its more than a job, it's a brotherhood.

"We are a huge family, a lot of people go 20 years of working with the same people. I mean these people are family. We hang out together off duty, we hang out on duty. You lay down your life for these people, you lay down your life for civilians.  It's a huge commitment to take a step up to do that."

The starting pay for a Lawton police officer is just over 38 thousand dollars a year. To apply, you can visit the city of Lawton's website.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.