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Superior seeks to fill police department ranks

Down seven sworn officers, Superior Police Department Chief Nicholas Alexander said he hopes the fall testing process will fill vacancies in the department.

File: Superior Police Department.jpg
Superior Police Officer Bradley Jago uses the radio in his squad Feb. 6, 2020, in Superior. The police department is seeking applicants to add to its certified hiring list.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — Superior is on the search for a few good men and women to police the city’s streets.

This week, the city will start seeking applications for candidates to test for inclusion on the police and fire commission’s new certified hiring list.

That’s unusual because the commission just approved its most recent hiring list in June. However, that list will be depleted when Chief Nicholas Alexander makes two conditional job offers to fill vacancies among sworn officers in the Superior Police Department. There are seven openings.

“In my career here, from when I was hired until now, I’ve never seen them do a process twice in the same year,” Alexander said. “It’s kind of a sign of the times. There’s been a decline in interest in people wanting to pursue careers in law enforcement.”

Alexander joined the Superior Police Department in 1998 as a patrol officer. He said it’s rewarding to know you’re helping people and have a positive impact on people’s lives.

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“I think policing is still a great career … it can be an exciting job,” Alexander said. “It’s certainly not routine. It’s different every day. You don’t know what you’re going to face on a given day, so that creates some variety and you don’t become stagnant as easily.”

Under the process approved by the police and fire commission Thursday, July 28, the city will begin advertising for applicants this week with a deadline of 10 p.m. Aug. 21 to apply.

Written examinations for qualified candidates will be administered by the human resources department Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the Government Center, with interviews and physical readiness testing in mid- to late-September.

The goal is for the police and fire commission to certify its new hiring list by October.

The top five candidates will be included on the list as eligible for hire when a vacancy occurs.

Alexander said hiring the best quality candidates is one of the most important reasons for the process to ensure officers have the quality and character to do the job well.

The chief said he is hopeful the new testing process will allow the department to fill its current vacancies, which will be five if the conditional offers he makes from the current hiring list are accepted.

“Maybe we’ll find that the fall is actually a good time to have a process,” Alexander said, noting that college graduates may be looking for work.

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This article was updated at 10:50 a.m. Aug. 3 to correct the deadline to apply. It originally posted at 3 p.m. Aug. 1. The Telegram regrets the error.

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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