WESTFIELD-Seven reserve police officers were hired from a field of 11 candidates following a series of virtual interviews March 9 hosted by the Westfield Police Commission.
The Police Commission interviewed 11 people in a zoom call. Most of the questions were brief, as the 11 candidates had already gone through a series of written interview questions as well as a review from a police board.
The 11 candidates were John Fitzgibbons, Ammar Khawaja, Jeff Hockenberry, Joshua Fanion, Anthony Liberto, Brandon Miemiec, Jestyna Peatman, Chase LaPotre, Kyle Murphy, Samuel Evans and Stephen Baptiste.
The commission, following the recommendations given by Chief Lawrence P. Valliere and the review board, chose to hire Murphy, Evans, Peatman, Fitzgibbons, Khawaja, Miemiec, and Fanion as new reserve officers.
Valliere and Commissioner Richard A. Sypek both pointed out recent trends across the country where police departments are seeing fewer recruits expressing interest in becoming police officers. They both said that having 11 candidates was a good sign for the department, and that the four candidates who were not selected should keep trying, as positions may continue to open up.
“You are really coming into the Westfield Police Department at a time where there will be a lot of transition,” said Valliere.
The seven new hires will officially begin on Monday, March 15.