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Warren — Following an intensive application process, a dozen new police officers were sworn in Friday to the Warren Police Department.

The ceremony at city hall also included 10 promotions of current officers and two retirements.

The new officers all had been working at police departments in Detroit and elsewhere, Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.

"When we announced we would be hiring — and only considering officers who were already employed elsewhere — we received 100 applications within 48 hours," said Dwyer.

The 12 selected were among a first group of 27 applicants.

Dwyer said each applicant went through a written test, an oral examination by a panel and an extensive background investigation.

"We had vacancies to fill and we wanted people we knew who could do the job right away," he said. "We are really pleased with what we now have: this is the best of the best."

Dwyer said six of the new hires were on the Detroit Police Department and one each came from departments in Fraser, Saginaw, Oak Park, Dearborn Heights, Grand Blanc. and the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. They range in age from early 20s to mid-40s and experience levels span from two to 19 years on the job, he said.

Dwyer said Mayor James Fouts has made diversity a priority in Warren's hiring and five of the new officers are minorities.

Warren has 242 employees in the police department; 203 of them sworn officers. The department has a $43 million budget.

"The hiring pool of officers has shrunk from what it once was," said Dwyer. "Less people are going into law enforcement and many departments don't have the numbers they once did. its a hard job. Some officers don't feel they are getting as much support as they should from their communities or even their department and government officials.

"But these officers were drawn to Warren because of our department's good reputation, good pay and benefits, and opportunities -- including specialized work in narcotics, K-9 units and more -- that they might not get elsewhere."

A veteran Warren police officer can make about $20,000 more annually than his or her counterpart on the Detroit force, Dwyer said.

All 12 new officers will start off in uniform and road patrol duties, he said.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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