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“There was a total disconnect with the type of work we do,” Jess said.
Once in the door, many officers with two-year degrees utilize the city’s tuition assistance program to earn their bachelor’s degree.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, which provides police services for several north suburbs, requires only a two-year degree, but a four-year one gives candidates an edge, said spokesman Randy Gustafson.
“We are held to a higher public scrutiny level. You need people who are able to meet that public demand and the demands of technology,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson said today’s squad cars are like “driving a high-tech computer.”
He also noted that, for the first time this past year, the sheriff’s department put its new hires through 40 weeks of training and department shadowing.
“It’s a lot of money and you want to make certain you have a really good candidate who makes it through. … You can always teach specific competencies. You can’t teach character.”
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804