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Superior looks to eliminate age restriction for new police officers

The current policy doesn't allow new officers to be hired after age 55.

File: Superior Police Department.jpg
Superior Police Department squads sit outside the Government Center.
Jed Carlson / 2018 File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — The city of Superior could be making permanent changes to its practices for hiring police officers.

A longstanding policy in the police officer job description that requires new officers younger than 55 years old at the time of hire could be eliminated.

The police and fire commission approved an exception to the policy Wednesday, June 15, to certify the police officer hire list with one candidate who has reached that age. The city’s human resources committee is slated to consider making that change permanent when it meets at 5 p.m. Monday, June 18, in Room 204 of the Government Center.

The policy change would not affect the minimum age of new officers, which is 18.

The only place the age 55 limit exists is in the job description, which has been in place “for as long as I have been with the city,” said Cammi Janigo, human resources director.

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“I’m not exactly sure where it originated from, but it is outside of what Wisconsin requires for its law enforcement officers,” Janigo said.

Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander said in polling other agencies, he found that similar policies do not exist among officials he contacted.

“So with that in mind, we though it was time to revisit this,” the chief stated in an email to the Telegram.

“We’re still shorthanded then,” said Howard Hendrickson, committee chair.

Janigo said the Superior Police Department has hired to fill two of the current three vacancies, but two additional vacancies within the ranks are anticipated.

Hendrickson said with the certification of the new hiring list, the city could get caught up in filling its ranks this summer.

New police officer candidates are subject to written, oral and physical agility examinations, and ranked for possible hire based on their total score.

“We might have to be testing again,” Janigo said.

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Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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