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Applying to civil service positions - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Applying to civil service positions

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

When aggravated kidnapping charges came down against police officer Robert Barthelemy, 34, his position with the Natchitoches Police Department because the subject of public scrutiny.

ArkLaTex residents took to social media to question the application process for local civil servants organizations, especially since Barthelemy is the seventh high-profile arrest of a public servant this month.

Six Shreveport Fire Department firefighters have been arrested in August, and most face allegations of cruelty and prostitution.

"I'm going to tell you 99% of the time that board is on point," Shreveport Police Sgt. Rita Caldwell says of the applicant interview board. "Usually when they [candidates] leave out of there, that is like no interview they've never had before."

With SPD for 22 years, Caldwell says the applicant interview board is an integral part of the hiring process but admits it is only part.

After an initial application and three civil service tests, a SPD hopeful goes through a physical fitness test, officer interview, and thorough background check.

"Sometimes their background isn't quite what they're saying and you find out a lot of things just by sitting and talking with someone," Caldwell says.

If a candidate makes it past those rounds, applicants are given a conditional offer of employment. The conditions are a polygraph test, a psychological evaluation, and medical exam. After the evaluations- which cover deeply personal information- the applicant's file hits the chief's desk.

"Those evaluations- those appointments- are necessary for us to find qualified, great applications for our department," Caldwell says.

In total, the process can take anywhere from three weeks to four months.

Shreveport Police's process is similar to the other side of the civil servant spectrum: Shreveport Fire.

"I think every employer wants to get the person who is job fit, and the best person for the job," says Fred Sanders, SFD Assistant to the Chief.

Although Sanders declined to go into specifics of questions covered in the polygraph, a SFD firefighter tells KTBS 3 News questions covered include if the applicant has ever stolen anything from work, had sex with a minor, lied to a boss, or done drugs.

At Natchitoches Police Department, Assistant Police Chief Cary Hargrove said their candidates do go through a similar procedure including background checks, physical fitness tests, psychological exams, and the interview board.

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