We are hiring!

We can teach anyone to be a police officer, but, according to Chief Dennis Murphy, we cannot teach people skills, which is the hallmark of Murphy's philosophy in the hiring of employees for the Gahanna Division of Police.

"Empathy and problem-solving are critical assets to being a successful member of this organization," Murphy said. "But, with these skills we also seek diversity of thought, background, culture and ethnicity within not only our organization, but the law enforcement profession."

The Gahanna Division of Police, like many area law enforcement agencies, is actively seeking candidates for the position of police officer to fill vacancies due to retirements or as additions to staff.

However, the city of Gahanna, like many other communities, struggles to attract, hire and train qualified, diverse candidates to serve as police officers. Societal and generational changes have had an impact on the applicant pool.

At the same time, the demands placed by the community upon police officers is exponentially higher than it was only a few short years ago. Despite our best efforts, the tragedies of Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, are fresh in the minds of the populace and the law enforcement profession, despite solid pay and benefits, is not as attractive as it once was, especially among minorities.

Despite the setbacks, we remain optimistic that in Gahanna we can overcome the many challenges facing the law enforcement profession's ability to hire exceptional people.

Through out-of-the-box approaches to recruiting, hiring and training candidates we have made great strides in diversifying our applicant pool and attracting vibrant and talented men and women to our agency.

Many of our most successful police officers never considered a career in law enforcement as they set out in the world. We have a former teacher, a minister, military veterans, a supermarket clerk and college athletes among our ranks. All bring the diversity we seek, but we can do more and can be better in our service to the public.

We are blessed in Gahanna to have the support of our elected leaders, other city departments and their employees and the larger community we serve. We have the best equipment, first-class training and exceptional technology that serves to not only keep our officers safe, but also act as a force multiplier.

But despite all of these advantages, we still need the help of our community to spread the word to those that may never have thought about a career in law enforcement to at the very least, contact us for more information.

Today's police recruit could ultimately be tomorrow's chief of police. What better way to have a voice in the manner in which your community is policed than you or a family member being a member of our team!

For more information on becoming a member of our team, visit our new website, http://www.gahanna.gov/join-our-team/, or send an email to police.recruiting@gahanna.gov.

Jeffrey Spence is the deputy chief of the Gahanna Division of Police, a 26-year veteran of the department and resident of Gahanna.