Home ยป 'I could do this': Rochester police hold job fair and it's not too late to apply – Foster's Daily Democrat

'I could do this': Rochester police hold job fair and it's not too late to apply – Foster's Daily Democrat

by Arifa Rana

ROCHESTER — City resident Chip Wansker is a retired airline pilot who isn’t ready to be fully retired. So he attended the Police Department’s job fair Saturday.
“Retirement is nice, but I would like something part-time,” Wansker said. “There are a lot of hours to being retired. It’s a strange time to retire, during COVID. You have to think about what you can and can’t do. I could do this.” 
The Rochester Police Department took a creative approach to hiring people for open positions, holding a job fair Saturday in an attempt to fill jobs, a struggle nationwide. And it’s being called an early success with several candidates earning second interviews.
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Wansaker applied for the part-time evidence tech position. Multiple other full-time and part-time positions are open in Rochester, including police officers, administrative tech II, public safety communications specialists (dispatchers). About a dozen people attended the two-hour job fair.
“We didn’t get too many candidates for police officers but we expected that,” police Capt. Todd Pinkham said. “We thought those who came would be more interested in the civilian positions. We got at least one candidate to follow up with for each job (administrative tech, evidence tech and dispatcher).”
The salary range for Rochester police officer jobs vary with the entry level at $50,078. Based on previous experience, the range rises from there with a cap of $71,442. Officer candidates must have an associates degree (not necessarily in law enforcement) and must pass a background check and oral boards before being hired. Attendance at the New Hampshire Police Academy is required, unless the candidate is transferring from another department and has already been certified. 
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Entry-level officers must be at least 20 years old, but Deputy Chief Jason Thomas said New Hampshire has no top level age requirement. There are physical fitness requirements for running and push-ups, for example, that vary based on the age of the officer.
The Rochester department’s open civilian positions have an hourly range, with dispatchers starting at $19.38; administrative techs at $17.60-$23.72 and evidence techs at $20.78-$28, based on experience.
The idea to hold a job fair came from Lt. Michael Miehle.
“I just threw out the idea; it was the team who made it happen,” said Miehle.
Thomas said some of the department members had attended a recent military job fair at Pease Tradeport and the idea grew from there.
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“We have had great, steady attendance,” Thomas said. “Staffing is hard right now. It’s been a strange year. People can pretty much set their own standards. They want full-time, part-time, certain hours. It’s tough. So, we are hoping this works. We definitely have seen a lot of interest.
Miehle said job candidates came in with many different stories. 
“We had a woman interested in a job so she could move closer to her family,” he said. “We had some come in interested in police work. They weren’t quite there yet so were interested in the dispatcher jobs. They were willing to start there and move forward toward a police officer position.”
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Pinkham said police didn’t know what to expect as they had never tried holding a job fair before. 
“I think we had a good response,” he said. “Staffing is an issue not just here but all across the country.”
For those who missed the job fair but might still be interested, questions can be directed to Deputy Chief Jason Thomas at 603-330-7145 or Jason.thomas@rochesternh.net.

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