Many people have dreamed or thought about being a police officer without knowing all it entails, and now the Columbus Police Department is giving the public a chance to learn more about joining the force without making a commitment.
CPD is gearing up for an open house from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at its downtown headquarters, 2330 14th St. Attendees will be able to learn more about the job, the police academy, hiring process, pay scale and all other aspects of a career with CPD while enjoying a snack and touring the facility. City of Columbus Human Resources Director Tammy Orender will also be on hand to answer questions about benefits that go along with employment.
“This event is intended to be a very casual but informational visit to the Columbus Police Department,” said CPD Investigator Jeremy Zywiec, a 20-year veteran of the local law enforcement agency. “We encourage the attendees to invite their spouse, children, or family members who might be a part of their career decision-making process. We will have officers providing tours of the CPD, showing different pieces of equipment and answering questions about every part of the job.”
The Columbus Police Department has seen a number of veteran officers retire in recent years and a lack of interest in the profession has left it with open positions it wants to fill so it can continue to properly protect and serve the community. Zywiec acknowledged he was at first hesitant to apply for a position in the field decades ago but went through the process and has learned a lot throughout his fruitful career that has included stints with Platte County Department of Corrections, the Northeast Juvenile Services Center and Omni Behavioral Health Group Home.
At CPD, he has served in numerous roles, including those in the patrol division, investigations, training and the police union. AT CPD, every team member will have the opportunity to train and grow no matter where they start.
“We are looking for the type of individual who is self-motivated and willing to learn. This job is like no other and can be different from day to day,” Zywiec said. “Some of the qualities that could help make a person successful in law enforcement would be the ability to be patient and listen to the issue at hand. We understand that like all jobs a person needs to be trained properly in order to do things correctly. At the CPD, we take every opportunity possible to provide the best training available to give our officers the most success.”
Attending the free open house doesn’t mean you’re definitely wanting to be a police officer, Zywiec stressed. CPD just wants to talk with people who have a serious interest in a career in law enforcement to help educate them and hopefully inspire the next generation of officers to join the team.
“The open house is for those people that don’t know if law enforcement is for them or not. The type of person I was years ago,” Zywiec said. “The entire purpose of this open house is to help with the decision-making process for those who might be on the fence. I would strongly encourage those who are on the fence to attend and get the facts. This career is like nothing else and we hope to help individuals make the best educated decision on what is best for them, their family, and the CPD.”
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