NYSP, Rochester Police want thousands to apply for entry exams

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Both the Rochester Police Department and the New York State Police are preparing for their exam season. The agencies want to see more than 1,000 applicants this year, each.

Trooper Lynnea Crane with the NYSP said the goal isn’t just getting people to sign up. It’s finding applicants who want to dedicate their life to the career, and serving their community.

The process may be a challenging one, she said. After a written exam, there’s a physical exam, and then a medical exam and background check.

“You will have to do push-ups, sit-ups, a mile-and-a-half run,” said Crane.

But she wants the public to know she loves her job, even after 10 years.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and I still love my job,” she said. “I still can go home and say I love my career.”

She said applicants need to know what they’re getting into. Many start out doing road patrol duties.

News10NBC got a firsthand look at one trooper’s job on the road, pulling over drivers whose situations present a concern.

“You would handle complaints through your 911 centers, you would be out on the road you’d be out patrolling the area you’d be assigned a post,” she said.

The Rochester Police Department is looking to recruit for their exam season as well. The department is down about 66 officers, and has about nine recruits in the academy.

Jason Visley is an instructor for the physical training and agility exam. He said he’s concerned with people not showing up to the test, after getting an invite. Visley said about half of the percentage of those invited actually show up. About 40% of those who do end up passing.

“There’s a lot of no-shows, people not even showing up to take the test,” he said. “I don’t have the answer for that, because I don’t have the opportunity to speak with them,” he said.

Both Visley and Crane said the applicant needs to demonstrate their own self initiative.

“You have to look at that person in the mirror, that’s the person that’s going to make a difference,” said Visley. “They have to put in the hard work. The push-ups, sit-ups running, it doesn’t take much equipment, it is free so anyone can do it,” he said.

Mike Mazzeo, president of the RPD Locust Club, said the process of becoming an officer gets increasingly difficult, the farther you go. But it’s important the applicants don’t give up.

“When you’re getting a thousand, two thousand applicants, your pool to advance people into agility and further on is greater. When it’s lower, the failures become more significant,” he said.

So the goal is not just finding people to show up, he said. It’s finding people who are willing to make the commitment in their life, for serving the community.

In return, Mazzeo said there needs to be support from the community.

“The opinion of working for RPD has to change,” said Mazzeo. “And that is going to need support from people in this community, those elected, those who are loud voices in the community.”

NYSP would not say how many troopers they are down.

Both RPD and NYSP say they’re dealing with a lot of retirements this year.

Applicants have until August 6 to apply for RPD’s exam.

Applications for NYSP open on July 1.