BEAUMONT — According to city officials, both the Beaumont and Vidor Police Department's are looking to hire new recruits.

Beaumont Police Officer, Haley Morrow, said the department's hiring period closes on September 30, 2018. The department is looking to hire both experienced and rookie officers.

Once hired, the department will put them through the Lamar Institute of Technology Regional Police Academy as a cadet. Morrow said for experienced officers, they're offering up to a $10,000 incentive signing bonus.

Morrow said cadets are required to have either 30 college hours, a military background, or experience in corrections or telecommunications. They'll enter the Police Academy in January, and earn 27.50 an hour. Recruits will graduate in May. Starting salary after the academy is over $56,000.

Morrow said the department officer good benefits, great health insurance, a retirement plan option, and additional work opportunities.

Once they graduate, Morrow said everyone starts out as patrol officers. They respond to traffic accidents, disturbances, dispatch calls, etc. After two years, they become eligible to move into a specific unit.

Morrow said they're looking for people with integrity, that want to make a difference and help people.

"You're going to go through things, you're going to see things that a lot of people won't, you'll look at the world differently, but it's a job that has rewarding experiences throughout the career," said Morrow.

She went on to explain that police work isn't for everyone, and it's important to know what you're getting into. That's why the offer a ride along program for anyone interested in applying, and a citizen's police academy for those unsure of if it's right for them. The citizen's police academy starts in January and it happens one night a week. During the class, attendees will be exposed to everything officers do every day.

Morrow said the hiring process takes about 90 days. Throughout the process, applicants will go through eight different phases.

"Obviously we must do a very thorough investigation to make sure we hire quality people," said Morrow.

Morrow explained applicants will have to pass a physical agility phase, a comprehension and writing phase, background investigations including family member, neighbor, former employer interviews, a polygraph, a psych evaluation, and an oral interview with member of the department. The final phase is getting the chief's approval at the end.

Once recruits graduate, they come into the police department as probationary officers. Morrow said they're on probation for one year and enter the field training program for about six months.

Vidor Police Chief Rod Carrol said Vidor is also looking to fill two openings. Officer Tom Meadows is one of his Field Training Officers. He's been working with recent hire Lee Blackman.

Meadows said his responsibility is to supervise new hires.

"Basically, introduce them into police work and kind of teach them from the classroom to the field of what to do," said Meadows.

He helps them take the knowledge the gained at the police academy and adapt it for real life situations. Until they're ready to be on their own, Meadows and other FTO's act as a safety net, insuring officers that what they're doing is right.

Meadows explained a lot of people have misconceptions about police work based off what they see on TV. He said it's impossible to be prepared for every scenario you may run into in the field, things come up no ones ever come across or even thought to prepare officers for. It's his job to help show them how to take that situation and bring it to a peaceful resolution.

Meadows explained he'll be with Blackman for about a month to a month and a half. Probationary officers go through four phases with three different FTO's.

In the first phase, probationary officers sit back and observe the FTO's style, and begin to develop one similar. When they get to the next phase they start taking the lead on easier situations and start to develop their own style. Meadows said the third phase is where they start taking care of the easier stuff all on their own, and the FTO only steps in when something really challenging comes about to give guidance. In the final phase, they return to their first phase trainer and do everything as if they're not there. That phase, Meadows said, is called the "Ghost Phase."

Blackman said things have gone well throughout his training. He became interested in police work because the idea of a day to day office job scared him, but with police work everyday is something new.

"It's unexpected everyday, you don't know until it happens and it's like wow, I didn't know I was going to do that today," said Blackman.

He said once he was hired he was issued a hire date, filled out his paperwork, and was assigned an FTO. Although the long hours and working away from his family is tough, Blackman said it's a very rewarding job.

To apply to the Beaumont Police Department, click here and select "public safety."

To apply to the Vidor Police Department, click here.