A big upgrade from the days of mailing in a paper application, the Billings Police Department is now using an online mobile recruiting platform to attract potential job applicants.
Interview Now allows anyone interested in the police department’s job postings to learn more by scanning a QR code and connecting with the department through text messaging.
“It links us directly to the applicants in real time. It sends their requests and goes through the requirement questions to apply for a police officer position. At the end it will ask them if they would like to be connected to a recruiter and what questions they have,” explained Administrative Sgt. Samantha Puckett, who oversees training and hiring for the Billings Police Department.
The department’s first Interview Now posts were made on Facebook and Instagram on the evening of Wednesday, June 1. By the following morning they had 16 inquiries.
“That was our whole goal, cut out the waiting and make things more accessible through text or phone calls,” said Sgt. Puckett.
Aside from social media, the department is in the process of creating cards, fliers and patrol car magnets that will feature a QR code and instructions to text “JOINBPD” to (406)905-0833.
The department continually accepts applications, but the hiring process for entry-level officers is coordinated leading up to the months of September, January, and April. That’s when the Montana Law Enforcement Academy holds its basic officer course.
New officers go through a 10 to 12 month hiring and training process before they can go on patrol.
Applicants who are coming from another law enforcement agency and are POST certified, can begin work much sooner.
Sgt. Puckett feels the use of this recruitment technology comes at a good time.
“Looking at the comments after the chief’s press conferences, there’s a lot of people who want to do things, who want to help the community, and that’s what I’m hoping. Maybe they’ve always wanted to help or are interested in law enforcement, and this can allow them to see if it’s something they really want to do to help,” Sgt. Puckett said.
Someone with the police department is usually available to respond to an inquiry Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Although this technology is available, job postings and the ability to apply are still available on the City of Billings website.