The West Hartford Police Department’s three new hires entered the Connecticut Police Academy on Aug. 3.
By Ronni Newton
Three new police officers were recently sworn in by West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot, and began their training at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden on Aug. 3.
Steven J. Dickman, Victoria Markow, and Zachary Kaesmann will live at the Academy during the week for the duration of the 22-week training period, returning to their homes on the weekends.
Following their graduation, the new officers will begin the 16-week Field Training Officer program through the West Hartford Police Department before being assigned duties on their own,
Dickman is a 2014 graduate of W.F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury. He earned a bachelors degree from Central Connecticut State University in 2017, with a major in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. Prior to joining the West Hartford Police Department, he was working full time as a skilled laborer for Prospect, CT- based LaMontagne Construction Company.
Markow graduated from New Britain High School in 2010, and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point. She earned a bachelors in mathematical studies in 2014, and served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s military police unit in Fort Campbell, KY. While serving, she earned a masters in criminal justice from the University of Cincinatti.
Kaesmann is a 2014 graduate of Trumbull High School and a 2018 graduate of the University of New Haven. He earned a bachelors degree in criminal justice and fire science, and most recently worked as an EMT for American Medical Response in Bridgeport. Kaesman is also a volunteer firefighter with the Trumbull Fire Department and a combat medic specialist with the 1st Battalion 102 Infantry Regiment of the Connecticut Army National Guard.
Prior to getting to the point of attending the Police Academy, recruits undergo a months-long hiring process that begins with an application to the Town of West Hartford, a test at Town Hall, and a chief’s interview for those who pass the initial test.
Candidates who pass those steps are then subjected to an extensive background check conducted by the West Hartford Police Department’s Special Investigations Division. Former employers, family members, boyfriends/girlfriends, and officials from schools they attended are interviewed. There is also a credit check.
Candidates are also subjected to a psychological interview and medical exam, and must meet certain physical standards required for the job.
The state also requires a polygraph exam for prospective officers. The polygraph exam lasts 4-6 hours, and is usually administered twice to each candidate in West Hartford.
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