The Office of Peace Officer Selection (OPOS) piloted two new processes, Jumpstart and Fast Track, in February 2022. The new processes are designed to reduce the selection process time for correctional officers.
The combined pilot processes are already showing signs of success, particularly for candidates electing the Fast Track option which requires a commitment to accept assignment to a priority institution.
Seven Jumpstart participants have cleared first steps
To date, seven candidates out of the Southern and Northern regions who participated in Jumpstart and Fast Track have cleared the background investigation process after completing their initial written exam in late February. The first two candidates cleared the background process within four weeks of their written exam, and five more completed within five weeks of their exam. Assuming fairly routine medical histories, this pilot group of Fast Track candidates is projected to be eligible for hire within four-to-five months of completing their written exam.
The Jumpstart events are a one-day program combining the written exam, physical fitness test, Live Scan, and creation of the candidates profile in eSOPH. With creation of the eSOPH profile, candidates are beginning the background investigation on their first day in process. The overall process time for candidates from their Jumpstart date to eligible for hire is expected to be in the seven- to nine-month timeframe, depending on the complexity of the candidate’s legal and medical history.
Fast Track is ideal for candidates with limited law enforcement contacts
With Fast Track, there is an expedited background investigation to the Jumpstart event. It’s designed for candidates who have had minimal or no law enforcement contacts, and have not moved around a lot.
“Fast Track is ideal for younger candidates, who may still live with their parents and haven’t had a lot of legal issues,” explained Captain Dennis McTaggart. “Fast Track can work for all candidates with clean records, but the more complex their history, the more time investigating it takes.”
McTaggart credited Lieutenant J. Hunter and Sergeants K. Drouillard and J. Gomez from the Southern Selection Center, and Lieutenant J. Schmidt and Sergeant D. Vitoria of the Northern Selection Center, for their diligence and hard work as primary factors in the success of the Fast Track process.
“There are a lot of parts to executing the Jumpstart and Fast Track processes,” said OPOS Chief Rob Calderon. “It takes the coordination of the Testing team, Background staff, and our medical and psychological exam units to move candidates this fast.”
McTaggart agreed but said the candidates are also responsible for assisting in the process.
“It also takes the cooperation of the candidate providing information when requested,” McTaggart said. “Candidates who are not responding timely have to be removed from Fast Track.”
By Steve Stone, Assistant Chief, OPOS