The Medina Police Department has hired two new officers.
Andrew Dziak was hired Jan. 20. Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said the second officer, Michael Googe, will be starting at the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy.
“(Googe) needs to go to basic training,” Berarducci said. “We start them down there. That’s the police academy for us.”
Dziak already is certified by the state.
Berarducci said the department will be fully staffed when the new officers join the force: Medina will have 39 full-time officers and one part-time.
None are black.
The Rev. Cornell Carter, pastor at Second Baptist Church in Medina, a member of Medina’s Civil Service Commission and co-chair of the Medina Diversity Project, said the city and the commission are committed to a diverse workforce. However, he said the applicant pool has not been diverse as of late.
He said the function of the commission is to advertise and test for available openings for the city and Medina Schools. Commission members will check applicants to make sure they meet qualifications for the various openings. They will present applicants to be interviewed and eventually hired.
“We have attended a number of career fairs in order to encourage qualified applicants to apply in the city,” he said. “We are being proactive and taking the steps necessary to hire qualified applicants. We are attempting to cast a broader net where we advertise to reach different applicants.”
He said it’s the commission’s job to “share with the rest of the world what a great place Medina is to live, work and raise a family.”
Chief Berarducci explained, “We deal with the list the Civil Service Commission gives us. We play no role in making that list. I get a list of 10 names for one officer vacancy. We deal with the 10 we are given and put them through the solicitation process.”
They will give applicants a polygraph test and a physical, among other things, before they are offered a position.
“I don’t care what their racial makeup is,” Berarducci said Tuesday in an interview with The Gazette. “I want honest people that will do a good job. Their mental stability and integrity are important factors.
“I don’t get bogged down (with their race). That’s for the political people to do. It’s important for us to select the best candidates available to us. They go to job fairs and other minority recruiting trying to get applicants. I did not see one (minority) on the list I’ve been given.”
The American Community Survey, a division of the U.S. Census Bureau, reported in a five-year estimate from 2010-14 that Medina city’s population was 26,544, with 1,203 black residents, or 4.5 percent.
“We maintain a high standard,” Carter said. “It’s a competitive process. You want the best workforce. We know there are diverse candidates out there.
“It has not been a lack of effort by the commission or the city. How do you stimulate the factors that encourage people to apply for a position in a geographical area? We have a great quality of life in Medina. We want to make sure we put Medina’s best foot forward.”