Accreditation Standards: 16.3.2, 32.1.1, 32.1.2, 32.1.3, 32.1.4, 32.1.5, 32.1.6, 32.1.7, 32.2.1, 32.2.2, 32.2.3, 32.2.4, 32.2.5, 32.2.6, 32.2.7, 32.2.8, 32.2.9, 32.2.10; CFA 5.02, 13.01, 13.02, 13.03, 13.04, 13.05, 13.06, 13.07, 13.08, 13.09, 13.12, 18.10

 

Revisions: 08/97; 06/01; 03/05; 06/07

 

References:

Chap. FSS 119, 257

University of Florida

Police Department

Department Standards Directive

Responsibility: Personnel

 

Pages: 07

 

Attachments: None

 

TITLE: JOB APPLICANT SELECTION PROCESS

 


2212 Job Applicant Selection Process

 

2212.1 Purpose. The purpose of this directive is to establish the guidelines for a job-related, consistent and nondiscriminatory selection process for entry-level job applicants.

 

2212.2 Discussion. The selection process is a major determinant of the operational effectiveness of a law enforcement agency. The selection process shall strive towards identifying applicants that possess the skills, knowledge and abilities required for the position. The selection process should identify applicants in a fair and consistent manner.

 

2212.3 Policy. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity employer. It has promulgated in its own rules a non-discrimination policy which provides, in pertinent part, as follows: The University shall actively promote equal opportunity policies and practices conforming to laws against discrimination. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, handicap, sex, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act. This commitment applies in all areas to student, faculty, TEAMS (Technical, Executive, Administrative and Managerial Support) staff and University Support Personnel System (USPS) employees. [Rule 6C1-1.006 Fla. Admin. Code] The Department shall comply with all federal and state laws as well as University System rules pertaining to selection.

The Director shall designate a Personnel Officer as the Department's liaison with the University's Human Resources. The Personnel Officer shall coordinate the selection and hiring process with Human Resources. The Personnel Officer shall be thoroughly familiar with the selection procedures set forth by Human Resources. The selection process will be administered and evaluated in a uniform and consistent manner. The Director shall be the final hiring authority.

2212.4 Procedure. This procedure governs the selection of job applicants for all sworn positions in the Department.

 

A. Selection for Interview.

 

1. The Department shall submit vacant positions to be posted to Human Resources.

 

2. All persons interested in employment with the Department must submit an employment application with Human Resources, except for reserve law enforcement officers who shall submit an application directly to the Department.

 

3. Human Resources shall review all applications, determine eligibility, and place the appropriate candidates in an applicant pool for the Department's consideration.

 

4. The Personnel Officer will review all of the applicant information provided by Human Resources.

 

5. The Personnel Officer will select for interview those applicants who appear most qualified.

 

6. The Personnel Officer will schedule initial interviews for the selected applicants.

B. Initial Interview.

 

1. An initial interview will be conducted by the person(s) appointed by the Director. The purpose of the initial interview is to determine if the applicant possesses the necessary job related experience, skills and abilities.

 

2. At the time of the initial interview, the applicants are informed in writing regarding all elements of the selection process. The information contains the expected duration of the selection process and the Department's policy on re-application, re-testing, and reevaluation of applicants not selected.

 

3. Nine work-related informational targets will be evaluated during the interview. The applicants' responses shall be recorded on a form designed specifically for this purpose. The form may contain the questions to be asked, but may also include follow-up questions or clarifying questions. The following paragraphs will establish how each of the informational targets is job-related and how they can be interpreted. The Department must be able to demonstrate that all information sought from applicants for employment is job-related.

 

a. Employment History and Discipline. It must be determined if the applicant currently has the skills to perform the job duties of the position sought or has the potential for obtaining those skills once hired. Past job performance is generally accepted as a predictor of future job performance. The interviewers should try to ascertain as much as possible about the applicant's work experience, responsibilities at work, skills learned and developed, work habits, work ethic and any other information pertaining to his/her qualifications.

 

A police department is a quasi-military organization with strict rules of behavior and a military-like chain of command. The applicant should react favorably to strong authority figures and strict chains of command. The interviewers should also seek applicants who have a professional attitude and demeanor while dealing with the public. In addition, because of the authority granted sworn employees, they must be trustworthy, have good moral character, and possess a high degree of integrity. Most of these criteria are not easily quantified; however, an applicant's previous job performance may offer some insight. Therefore, the interviewers should try to determine if the applicant has had work-related problems such as disciplinary action, dismissals or forced resignations for cause.

 

b. Job Description and Qualifications. The interviewer will identify the job duties of the position sought for the applicant and will ask the applicant to explain his/her qualifications in relation to the position description. The applicant will also be questioned regarding whether he/she believes they can perform the required job duties.

c. Shift Attitude. For those positions that require rotating through shifts, the applicant will be asked if he/she is willing to rotate shifts. For all uniformed personnel, overtime is required and therefore, the applicant must be advised of this requirement and asked whether he/she will be able to work mandatory overtime events.

 

d. Drug Usage and Criminal Activities. Law enforcement officers must meet the requirements of Section 943.13 Florida Statutes. Law enforcement officers cannot recently or currently have engaged in crimes listed as "moral offenses" by Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC). Applicants with felony convictions will not be hired. Some misdemeanor convictions, depending on the circumstances, will disqualify applicants from employment consideration. When confronted with an applicant who has been arrested but not convicted, the applicant must be asked questions regarding the circumstances of his or her arrest. The circumstances and age of the applicant at the time of the arrest must be weighed before deciding whether to disqualify the applicant from further employment consideration.

 

e. Alcohol and Work. Since past performance predicts future performance, it should be determined whether an applicant has consumed an alcoholic beverage on-the-job or immediately prior to reporting to work. Law enforcement officers and other uniformed employees shall not drink alcoholic beverages while on duty or within eight hours prior to reporting for duty. Applicants who have consumed alcoholic beverages while on duty might not be hired depending on the circumstances and the job.

 

f. Driving History. Past driving performance often predicts current and future driving habits. For positions that require driving, the applicant must have a good driving history.

 

The Department accepts a great deal of liability for each person allowed to operate its' vehicles, especially marked patrol vehicles. Therefore, the Department must ascertain as much about the applicant's driving history as possible so that an informed decision may be made regarding whether the applicant will be allowed to operate a Department vehicle. For positions that require driving, a valid Florida Driver License is required. An applicant with an abusive driving history may not be hired.

 

g. Certification/Educational History. State law mandates that all personnel must have a high school diploma or GED. Law enforcement applicants also must be eligible for certification by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

 

h. Permanency. Since the selection and training process of a law enforcement officer is costly, a determination should be made of the applicant's goals.

 

i. Honesty. While there are no specific questions asked to evaluate honesty, all responses to questions from an applicant should be evaluated to determine an applicant's honesty. Honesty is important for law enforcement officers because of the nature of their job.

 

4. After the oral phase of the interview is complete, each applicant shall be given a question to be answered in writing.

5. Upon determination that the applicant's candidacy for employment will continue in the selection process, the background investigation phase of the selection process should begin.

 

6. Upon determination that the applicant's candidacy for employment will not continue, the interview should end.

 

a. Applicants who are not selected for continued candidacy, shall be notified in writing within thirty (30) days of the date of the interview.

 

b. Applicant files shall be maintained in a secure file separate from other personnel records.

 

7. The Personnel Officer shall keep a list of those applicants interviewed and the status of their applications.

C. Preparation For The Background Investigation.

 

1. The Personnel Officer shall provide the applicant with a personal history statement form and instructions for completion of the form. The personal history statement must be returned to the Department within five days. If the applicant fails to return the personal history statement within five business days, the applicant may be disqualified from further employment consideration.

 

2. When the applicant returns the personal history statement, the Personnel Officer will review it for completeness and inclusion of all documents. If the personal history statement is incomplete, the Personnel Officer will return it to the applicant to complete. Copies will be made of all original documents that the applicant provides and originals returned to the applicant.

 

3. The Personnel Officer will obtain the applicant's signature on the "Personal Inquiry Waiver" and the "Health & Fitness Program Agreement" and "Affidavit of Non-Military Service", if applicable and verify notarized forms.

4. The Personnel Officer shall forward the entire personal history statement to the background investigator for investigation.

 

D. Background Investigation. Background investigations must meet the minimum guidelines established by the CJSTC for sworn position applicants. Uniformed civilian positions are subject to the same selection process as sworn positions with the exception of the neighborhood check. Background investigators shall be trained in conducting law enforcement background investigations. During the course of the background investigation, all materials relating to an applicant will be maintained in a secured area.

 

1. The background investigator shall assign an Originating Case Agency (OCA) number that identifies the applicant.

 

2. The background investigator will interview the applicant and review the personal history statement to ensure completeness and accuracy of the information.

 

3. The background investigator shall ensure that two photographs of the applicant and two sets of the applicant's fingerprints are taken. The OCA number shall be recorded on the 10-print fingerprint cards.

4. After review of the personal history statement with the applicant, the background investigator shall conduct an investigation to include: employment verification, neighborhood inquiries (applicants for sworn positions only), criminal history checks, credit history, driver license verification and history, verification of qualifying credentials, and at least three personal references.

 

5. As an investigative aid, the background investigator shall arrange for a detection of deception examination.

 

a. The Department shall use polygraph or Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) examinations for detection of deception examinations of law enforcement, police service technician, and police communications operator applicants.

 

b. The administrator of the examination will be formally trained in conducting the examination and in the use of the instrument.

 

c. The results of the detection of deception examination will not be the single determinant of employment status.

d. Inform the applicant of the requirements for taking the examination and provide a list of areas from which the questions will be drawn, prior to such examination.

6. Upon completion of the background investigation phase, the investigator shall:

 

a. Review all information, notes and correspondence, verifying that all steps of the background investigation phase are complete;

 

b. Remove all personal notes/materials not to be forwarded with the packet;

 

c. Verify that the background investigation file contains: the personal history statement, copy of the birth certificate, Driver License, Social Security card, Department of Defense form 214 (DD214 long form), high school diploma or GED, college degree diploma and transcript, name change papers, NCIC/FCIC printouts, driving history, fingerprint cards, Personal Inquiry Waiver form, signed Drug Testing Consent form if required, signed Health & Fitness Program Agreement if required and the Affidavit of Non-Military Service if applicable.

 

d. Include a copy of the detection of deception examiner's report to the cover letter.

 

7. The background investigator will prepare an overview of the background investigation to be submitted to the Director.

 

8. The Background investigator shall complete a supplemental report for the following:

 

a. The date of return and the findings of the fingerprint examination results.

 

b. Any unexpected information received after the packet has been forwarded.

 

E. Background Termination. The background investigation is a continual, objective, and evaluative process. The background Investigator will monitor the status of each background investigation and keep the Director informed.

 

1. When substantiated derogatory information is discovered about an applicant, the information should be evaluated and a determination made by the Director or designee regarding whether to discontinue the investigation.

 

2. A background investigation will not be terminated until the derogatory information has been substantiated.

 

F. Administrative Review.

 

1. The background investigator shall review the file for accuracy and content, and may confer with the Personnel Officer and/or the Director to ascertain whether further investigation is necessary in order to clarify the applicant's eligibility for employment.

 

2. If no further investigation is needed, the background investigator shall forward the file to the Director or designee for review and follow-up interview.

 

3. The Director will review the file and determine if the applicant should be hired.

 

4. The Director will forward the file to the Personnel Officer.

 

5. If the applicant is not approved, the Personnel Officer will notify the applicant, in writing, of the decision within 30 days.

G. Conditional Selection.

 

1. The Director reserves the right to interview applicants recommended.

 

a. The Director must approve all hiring decisions.

 

b. The Director must approve all starting salaries above the base salary.

2. When the Director has granted approval, the Personnel Officer will contact the applicant and extend a conditional offer of employment and an anticipated date of employment.

 

3. The offer of employment is conditioned on the applicant's successful completion of the pre-placement health assessment.

 

4. The Personnel Officer will obtain the applicant's signature on the Drug Testing Consent Forms.

 

H. Medical Examination (Pre-placement Health Assessment).

 

1. All applicants for uniformed positions will undergo a pre-placement health assessment to evaluate their general health and determine their ability to perform the essential job functions of the position.

 

2. In order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), medical examinations will be administered after the conditional job offer has been made.

 

3. A psychological fitness examination will be a part of the medical examination of all applicants for sworn positions.

 

4. A drug screening, as required by the CJSTC, will be a part of the pre-placement health assessment of all applicants for sworn positions.

 

5. All pre-placement health assessments for employment with the Department will be conducted and assessed by qualified professionals employed by the University of Florida's Student Health Care Center. The Personnel Officer will contact the Student Health Care Center and arrange the pre-placement health assessment.

 

I. Final Evaluation. The Personnel Officer will evaluate the results of the pre-placement health assessment.

 

1. For those applicants recommended for employment by the Student Health Care Center, the Personnel Officer will re-contact them and confirm their start date, and other appropriate information.

 

2. For those applicants not recommended for employment by the Student Health Care Center, the Personnel Officer will consult with the Director who will evaluate the job offer.

 

J. Administration.

 

1. The background packets for candidates who are hired will be forwarded to the Department's Personnel Officer.

 

a. The Personnel Officer will create a personnel file, background file and medical file for the employee.

 

b. The Personnel Officer will schedule the employee for a new employee orientation conducted by Human Resources during the employee's first week of employment.

 

c. The payroll clerk will process any necessary CJSTC paper work for sworn employees.

 

2. Newly hired employees for sworn positions will have a probationary period of not less than one year from the date of hire before attaining permanent status [see Department Standards Directive 3500].

 

3. Newly hired employees for non-sworn positions will have a probationary period of no less than six months from the date of hire before attaining permanent status.

 

K. Records Retention.

 

1. All information pertaining to an applicant's selection process (other than the Personnel Officer's log) will be kept with, and considered a part of, the applicant's file. Each background investigation is maintained on file in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 119 and 257 Florida Statutes and the State of Florida General Records Schedules.

 

2. For applicants not hired, all documentation relevant to the application process shall be kept in compliance with the provisions of Chapters 119 and 257 Florida Statutes in a locked secure file.

 

3. For applicants hired, the completed packet will be given to the Personnel Officer who shall prepare two separate files.

a. The first file shall include the application and relevant materials that shall be maintained under twenty-four hour security with restricted access.

 

b. The second file shall contain the results of the medical and psychological examinations, and drug test results. This file shall be maintained under twenty-four hour security with restricted access.

 

c. As required by law, the Personnel Officer shall complete and submit the necessary documentation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in order to register the employee as a law enforcement officer.

 

L. Reserve Police Officer Positions.

 

1. The process of selection for interview for reserve police officers differs from that for permanent police officers in that the Department selects those individuals who express a sincere interest in the program.

 

2. Applicants for the Reserve Officer Program submit applications directly to the University of Florida Police Department.

 

3. Reserve officers must meet the same selection criteria as that for permanent officers.

 

M. TEAMS Exempt Sworn Positions.

 

1. TEAMS exempt positions will be advertised and filled in accordance with the procedures established by Human Resources.

 

2. When a TEAMS exempt position is to be filled, the Director will designate a member of the Department to coordinate the search. The designated member will contact the TEAMS recruiter at Human Resources for assistance.

 

3. Applicants for sworn TEAMS exempt positions must undergo a background investigation and pre-placement health assessment evaluation.

 

N. TEAMS Exempt Non-Sworn Positions.

 

1. TEAMS exempt non-sworn positions will be advertised and filled in accordance with the procedures established by Human Resources.

 

2. When a TEAMS exempt non-sworn position is to be filled, the Director will designate a member of the Department to coordinate the search. The designated member will contact the TEAMS recruiter at Human Resources for assistance.

 

3. Applicants for TEAMS exempt non-sworn positions are required to undergo a background investigation to include:

 

a. Employment verification;

b. Criminal history / fingerprint checks;

 

c. Credit history;

 

d. Driver license verification and history; and

 

e. References.

 

2212.5 Glossary. None

 

 

RLH 04/95 Filed: Job Applicant Selection Process 2212

 

 

Approved: .

Linda J. Stump, Director

 

Effective Date: June 11, 2007 .