Dear COBA Members;
The Nassau County Civil Service Commission posted on their website today that they are opting into a "Pilot Program" along with 39 other counties in New York State wherein a new process would be implemented for the hiring of Correction Officers statewide, due to the problem of recruitment and retention in our profession.
The NYS Sheriffs Association is apparently supporting this initiative where applicants would no longer be required to take a written entrance exam, instead filling out an online questionnaire for their initial step toward hiring.
I actually became aware of this "Pilot Program" while at a Law Enforcement Job Fair in Hempstead today with all of Nassau's Law Enforcement Depts and Unions along with reps from the County Exec's office and Civil Service. There I had the ability to speak with Civil Service and County leaders regarding this issue. It was there that I learned that Civil Service opted into this Pilot Program not only without input from COBA but also apparently without our Department's input.
When I questioned the merits of such a program vs a written exam it became clear that Civil Service was looking for an alternate method of hiring here due to the abysmal rate of interest in this job the last few years. Even with recruitment efforts and expanding eligibility to Suffolk and Queens. It appears that they are also fearful that due to the attrition rate they wont be able to hire enough people and are grasping at other ideas.
To be clear, COBA has expressed our vehement opposition to this Pilot Program, particularly since our questions weren't answered regarding it, including how candidates would be ranked and particularly how to even verify who would be filling out the questionnaires among numerous other inquiries. Most importantly, how do you properly gauge candidates by removing the written exam which is a basic component of whether or not people are competent and literate for a job that requires report writing as a main requirement.
I am awaiting responses and will keep you posted on this issue.
Brian Sullivan, COBA President