Police Hiring Opportunities 2023

Join the South Hadley Police
The South Hadley Police Department is looking to hire qualified persons for the position of police officer. There are currently 3 vacancies in the South Hadley Police Department which will be filled from this recruitment effort. Applications will be ACCEPTED UNTIL FILLED.  Complete the online application here and upload the required resume and required cover letter.  

Why the South Hadley Police Department
 The South Hadley Police Department has a long and proud history of serving the community.  We are grateful for the confidence the South Hadley community has in us, and we work diligently to maintain that trust.   Our mission, to maintain social order and improve the quality of life within the Town is accomplished through our ethical principles of justice, integrity, respect, courage, and allegiance. Equitable and impartial policing, of which the community expects of us, is a continues theme in this organization.  

Questions regarding this recruitment process can be forwarded to Sergeant Mark Baran via email.  

Equal Opportunity Employer:  The Town of South Hadley (Town) is committed to promoting nondiscrimination, diversity, and equal opportunity, and, if necessary, affirmative action in all of its policies regarding employment and provision of services. The employment policies and practices of the Town are to recruit, hire and promote employees on the basis of qualifications, and ability, without discrimination because of membership in a protected class, and to treat them equally with respect to compensation and opportunities for advancement, including but not limited to job assignment, supervision, training, upgrading, promotion, transfer, layoff, recall from layoff, termination, and other terms and conditions of employment.  In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities for all individuals, no employee or applicant shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), genetic information or other legally protected status. This policy of nondiscrimination applies to all employment practices and procedures and all other aspects of the employment relationship.

Anticipated Recruitment Process

Posting of the vacancy 
Interview Panel #1: Human Resources and South Hadley Police Personnel
Coopers Test:    Coopers Agility Physical Fitness Assessment Test conducted by the South Hadley Police.  See attached standards
Interview Panel #2: Chief of Police and South Hadley Police Personnel
Background investigation
Conditional offer of employment to the top candidate(s) successfully passing the Physical Fitness Assessment Test, Interview Panel, Background Investigation and medical evaluations

Community and Department Profile

Department Information
 Chief of Police: Jennifer Gundersen  
 Number of Full Time Employees: 35
 Sworn Full Officers: 29 (Chief of Police, 2 Lieutenants, 6 Sergeants, 3 Detectives and 17 Patrol Officers)

Form of Government
 Town Administrator, Lisa Wong
 Town Select Board
 Town Meeting

Town of South Hadley Information
 Population: 18,100
 Area: 18.3 Square Miles
 Host Community to Mt. Holyoke College
See the South Hadley Police organizational chart here
See the South Hadley Police 2023-2023 Labor Agreement Addendum/MOA here
See the South Hadley Police Union Labor agreement, 2019-2022 here
See the position description for South Hadley Police Officer here

Conditions, minimum qualifications, and requisite skills for employment as a South Hadley Police Officer

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must possess the physical ability to perform duties required of a police officer
  • Must be 21 by time of appointment
  • Must possess strong oral and written communication skills
  • Must be high school graduate or equivalent
  • Successful completion of two (2) oral board interviews and an interview with Chief of Police
  • Successful completion of a background investigation process, including criminal, personal, financial inquiries to determine suitability of the candidate
  • Successful completion of a medical examination
  • Successful completion of physical abilities test and Coopers Aerobics Test 
  • Recommendation upon completion of a psychological evaluation
  • Be a non-smoker
  • Have the ability to read and write English
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be certifiable under the Massachusetts POST commission standards
  • Have an impeccable character background; and
  • Be willing and able to meet the duties and obligations of a South Hadley Police Officer
  • Note: Any prior conviction for a felony or untruthfulness in this background investigation process are automatic disqualifiers for employment
  • Preference will be given to those candidates that have a college degree(s), military experience, reside in South Hadley or combination;

FAQ’s Getting Hired, Salary Info

Is there a written test?
 No. At this time there is no written test to apply to be a South Hadley Police Officer

Are there any age restrictions for new officers?     
Candidates must be at least twenty-one (21) at date of hire but younger than thirty-seven (37).

Are there any physical disqualifiers for new officers?
Candidates must pass the medical examination before participating in the Physical Abilities Test (PAT).  Candidates then must pass the state-mandated PAT test.  After completing the PAT, candidates need to pass a Physical Fitness Test.  The Municipal Police Training Committee requires that all potential student officers who intend to enter a full-time police academy first pass a physical fitness test.  The fitness test includes four components: push-ups, sit-ups, 1.5 mile run, and a 300-meter sprint.  All student officers must meet the 30th percentile of the Cooper Aerobics Institute's norms, with requirements established for different ages and genders.

Do I need to be a South Hadley resident?
  No. In accordance with Chapter 41, Section 99A, candidates must establish residency within fifteen (15) miles of the limits of the South Hadley within one (1) year from the date of appointment.   However, most of our police officers either lived or were raised in South Hadley, so we do give preference to candidates that have roots in the South Hadley community.  

Is there an educational requirement?
  Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED.  While college credits are not required, they are preferred.  

Do you accept lateral transfers from other agencies?
 Yes, we do.   Candidates who are trained and are working or who have worked full-time for another police agency should apply.  The hiring process is similar, but the interview is modified and the PAT may not be required.  Also, the length of the Field Training program may be shortened based on demonstrated knowledge and abilities.

How do I apply?
Complete the online application and upload your resume and cover letter HERE.

How long does the hiring process take?
 This depends on the next Academy dates.   Generally, it takes 3 months from application to the start of the Academy.  

Benefits, Salary, Retirement

What is the salary range for new officers?  The current salary range for contract range 2022-2025.  To increase annual there are extensive opportunities for overtime and police details.  

FY23-FY25 Police Salary

Student Officer Academy rate of pay for the 26 weeks of the police Academy=$1,800 bi-weekly
Fully trained Police Officers:   Salary will be negotiated commensurate with experience.
Educational Stipend paid annually after 1st year of employment

Night Differential:  Officers assigned to the evening shift (3:00pm-11:00pm) receive an additional $1.00 per hour (approx.. $1,950 per year).   Officers assigned to the overnight shift (11:00pm-7:00am) receive an additional $1.50 per hour.  (approx. $2,925 per year)

What are the vacation and sick time benefits?
 Officers with one (1) year but less than 5 receive 12 vacation days annually.  Officers with five (5) years but less than 10 receive 18 vacation days annually.  Officers with ten (10) year and over receive 24 vacation days annually. Officers with twenty (20) year and over receive 30 vacation days annually. Sick benefits:   All regular full-time employees accumulate up to twelve (12) working days (96 hours) per year of sick time.  All employees receive 3 personal days per year

What is the health insurance benefit?
The town pays 70% of a full-time employee's health insurance for the HMO and 60% for PPO. See the 2023 Insurance Rates and Plans here.

Will I make more money if I have a college degree?
 Officers are eligible to participate in the Educational Incentive Program. Officers with applicable degrees earn the following amounts annually (1/2 paid in June and 1/2 paid in December) in addition to their base salary:  The degree must be in Criminal Justice, in a Liberal Arts or Business related discipline, in forensic science, or in a discipline recognized by the Town of South Hadley.  
Civil Service
The South Hadley Police Department was a civil service department until November 30, 2022. Officers hired prior to that date remain in civil service. All newly hired officers and transfers after November 30,  2022 will be non-civil service.

The Police Academy

How long is the police academy?
  It is about 26-weeks.

What academy will I attend?
There are Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee police academies across the state, but the closest is in Holyoke.  The majority of South Hadley Police recruits attend the Holyoke academy.

What is the academy schedule?
  Most academy training occurs during the daytime, Monday through Friday.

Do I have to sleep at the academy?

Do I have to pay for the academy?
Employees attending the Academy are paid $1800 bi-weekly. The current labor agreement requires that those attending the academy must pay $3000 towards the cost of the Academy and equipment. The Town pays the remaining costs for the Academy and Equipment. On the employees 5th year of employment with the town as a Police Officer, the employee is reimbursed the $3000.   The FY23-FY25 Labor Agreement states the following:  Employees hired by the Town of South Hadley on or after July 1, 2022, who are required to attend the Massachusetts Police Training Academy, shall be responsible to pay $3000 to the Town of South Hadley in accordance with the schedule below to offset costs for attendance at any Massachusetts Police Training Academy. The Town will remit full payment for academy   costs for each employee sponsored by the Town. Costs include but are limited to, equipment, uniforms, salary and fees. The payment schedule is as follows: the Town shall deduct 1/26 of $3000 from each check per pay period until said sum is reimbursed in full to the Town. After the completion of five (5) continuous years of service as a certified police officer with the Town of South Hadley Police department, the employee shall receive a one-time, lump sum payment of $3000, payable in the next regular payroll following the officer’s five year anniversary. The five (5) year period shall be calculated from the date of graduation from the Massachusetts Police Training Academy

Do I get paid while I attend the academy?
  Yes. Recruits are full-time employees of the town of South Hadley and earn a Student Officer salary of $1800 bi-weekly.

What is Field Training?
  Field Training is the on-the-job training that occurs just after an officer graduates from the police academy.  New recruits are paired with veteran officers who ride with them and help them learn how to apply their academy training to the job.

How long is field training?
 For new officers the Field Training program typically takes 12-weeks.  


What hours will I have to work?

We have three patrol shifts at the South Hadley Police Department:  days, evenings, and nights.  During field training new officers will move onto different shifts with their Field Training Officers.   Shifts are bid and assigned each January.   

What kind of specialty units are there?
  South Hadley has a Detective Bureau and officers working in this area transition out of patrol and into the Detective assignment.  In addition, South Hadley has one full time police officer assigned as the School Resources Officer assisting the schools in South Hadley/    We have other specialty assignments that officers work, in conjunction with their other duties.  These include: Field Training Officer, Crime Scene, Firearms Instructor, Defensive tactics Instructor, CPR/First Responder Instructor, and many more.

About the South Hadley Police Department

The South Hadley Police Department has 29 sworn members, 5 civilian dispatchers and 1 administrative assistant. The Police Department is staffed by the Chief of Police, 2 Lieutenants, 6 Sergeants, 3 Detectives and 17 officers assigned to the Patrol Division. All sworn personnel, except the Police Chief, are covered under Civil Service. See our Organizational Chart and Span of Control.

South Hadley Police Department is a well-trained, well-funded and professionally equipped agency that is committed to improving the quality of life for all persons that live, work, learn and visit the community.  Read our Mission statement to learn what we value, what we strive for.

South Hadley Police is a busy agency, handling approximately 20,000 calls for service per year.  See our statistics page for a more detailed look at our level of activity.    Our South Hadley Police Officers are provided opportunities for specialized part time assignments which include School Resource Officer, Bicycle Patrol, Connecticut River Task Force, South Hadley Fire District 1 Dive Team, Crisis Intervention Team and Peer Support.  Our personnel are provided a generous pay package which include stipends for educational incentive, holiday pay, shift differential, fitness; as well as overtime, details, paid vacation, sick, personal time.    For more information on this agency, contact Sgt. Mark Baran via email or Chief Jennifer Gundersen via email.  

About the Town of South Hadley
Rich in history and culture, diverse in recreational opportunities South Hadley is an inviting and charming community. While South Hadley offers a wide range of opportunities and services, the people make the community a warm and welcoming place to live and to visit. With a population of approximately 17,300, the community has a density of only 945 persons per square mile. South Hadley is known worldwide as the home of the Mount Holyoke College with an enrollment of approximately 2,100 students from nations around the world.   Centrally located in the scenic Pioneer Valley, our location and abundant natural resources have shaped our community and formed the character of the town. South Hadley is situated along the eastern bank of the Connecticut River and southern slope of the Mount Holyoke Range.