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Requirements loosen for Steubenville’s Civil Service test

STEUBENVILLE — City officials plan to offer the entry-level police civil service test again, but first they’d like to loosen the requirements to encourage more candidates to sign up.

The test was last offered in August. Of the 10 candidates who signed up, only two passed the written and physical portions of the test. They still have to pass the background check, polygraph, drug and alcohol screening and psychological tests.

City Manager Jim Mavromatis said they’ve elected to keep those two prospects in hand and offer the test again so they can fatten the list of candidates.

“We’ll still utilize the two who passed (in August), but we’ll do another test because we need more candidates,” he said.

Mavromatis said he’d like to see the test administered before the end of the year, “but that’s going to depend.”

“We’re supposed to have a meeting wednesday, where we’re going to propose some changes,” he said.

One of the biggest would be crediting prospects for their military service.

“The standard written test will still be given,” he said. “(The changes) would have to do with military credit in lieu of college. I think that’s going to help. A lot of military people are coming out, some actually have come out of war zone areas so they have the discipline and training … just a good crop of people to look at.”

Any changes “have to be approved by the Civil Service Commission,” he pointed out.

Civil Service Commission President Delores Wiggins has voiced concern in the past with the shrinking pool of applicants for civil service positions, pointing out that, “It used to be where you could hardly find a space to get in and put an application in. No more.”

At the same time test-taking numbers have declined, the police department has seen higher-than-normal turnover: Last year, for instance, an officer was terminated after pleading guilty to five felony counts involving misuse of a federal law enforcement automated database system and 11 misdemeanor hunting violations. Another patrolman resigned after being charged by Ohio State Highway Patrol with operating a vehicle under the influence.

Mavromatis said candidates who pass the written test would take the physical test the same day. If they pass that, they’ll proceed to the next level — the background test, drug and alcohol screening, psychological and polygraph test — along with the two August prospects.

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