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Wheeling Police Department Starts New Round of Hiring

Photo Provided - In addition to serving and protecting the city, Wheeling police officers also get involved with fun community service events such as this one held for families and children at Heritage Port last summer called “Cops and Pops.”

WHEELING — Those looking for a new career may want to check out the Wheeling Police Department.

The department is starting a new round of hiring with a starting salary of $42,805 that increases to $44,069 after a year.

If one is already a West Virginia certified officer, the department is offering a $20,000 signing bonus.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 21. People can apply at wheelingwv.gov/policejobs or at the City of Wheeling Human Resource Department located at 1500 Chapline Street, Room 301. For more information, call 304-234-3694.

The position offers medical, dental, vision and life insurance, longevity pay, paid vacation, sick and holiday leave and a $550 uniform allowance.

After 20 years of service, officers can retire with a pension.

New for 2022 is the assigned vehicle program, which allows officers to drive their cruisers to and from work, parking it at their homes overnight.

There are some upfront requirements for the job. One must be between 18 and 40 years old; have a high school diploma or GED; live within a 45-mile radius of the city; and pass a written and physical test.

Wheeling police Deputy Chief Ken Prager said Thursday the physical test is the same for all applicants, regardless of sex.

“The requirement is to complete 18 consecutive push-ups within one minute, and 28 sit-ups within one minute. There is a 1½-mile run that must be completed within 14 minutes, 36 seconds,” he said.

“These minimum requirements mirror those that the West Virginia State Police Academy requires for entry into their training, which is a requirement to become a certified officer in the state of West Virginia.”

Prager noted on the assessment day, which is Feb. 26, applicants take both the physical and written tests.

“Those successfully completing the physical exam, will then take the written exam. The written consists of a multiple-choice general knowledge exam, and is overseen by the civil service commission,” he said. “The test is sent away for scoring, and those scoring a 70% or higher will be placed in an eligibility list. Once on the eligibility list, a member of the Background/Recruitment Team will contact them to conduct their background investigation. Those passing a background will eventually need to pass a medical, psychological, and polygraph exam.”

Prager said applicants who are veterans of the military or are certified police officers get preference points added to their scores.

Prager described the Wheeling Police Department as the “premier law enforcement agency in the valley.”

“When full-staffed, we are a 78-officer department, also consisting of multiple civilian employees. An agency of this size has many opportunities available that other smaller agencies simply do not,” he said.

The department, he said, provides quality training opportunities, and officers can pursue varied specialities including: Field Training Officer; Detective in the investigation’s unit; Detective within our Drug & Violent Crime Task Force; Crisis Negotiation Team; Civil Disturbance Unit; SWAT Team; K9 Handler; Background Recruitment Team; Bicycle and Trikke Certification; Honor Guard; and School Prevention Resource Officer.

Prager said the department is looking to hire people who “exemplify the core values” of the department, which are integrity, loyalty, professionalism, courage, respect, accountability, teamwork, leadership and service.

“We pride ourselves on conducting thorough background investigations on any potential new hires, to ensure we are getting the best quality candidates,” he said.

Prager said the department hopes to have many quality candidates as it is seven officers short.

Another future perk to the job is a new police headquarters that is set to open this coming fall.

The starting wage may be increasing in the future as Wheeling City Council is mulling a $1,200 increase in salary, a proposed ordinance that will receive a final reading at the next city council meeting, he added.

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