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The Foley Police Department, dubbed the "Best Police Department in Baldwin County," is now hiring. Police Chief Thurston Bullock said there are five patrol positions and four corrections positions available.

Bullock said he is looking for individuals who care about the job and want to make a difference, but he refuses to lower his standards to fill the void.

"It's not just all about enforcement action," said Bullock. "It's also about taking care of your citizens and being a public servant and being of service to the citizens of your city."

At a time when law enforcement officers are highly scrutinized, Bullock said he believes most people looking for a job as a police officer are fully committed to others.

"The people that are wanting to come into law enforcement now have a calling," he said. "Those are the people who are keeping our profession going and keeping our citizens safe. They are the ones giving back to the communities. We're happy that there are people who still want to be public servants."

Officers with the Foley Police Department receive continued training and competitive pay, Bullock added.

"We don't do just the bare minimum amount of training and equipping," Bullock said. "We have a city council that believes in giving us the funding to get our officers what they need to be successful."

For officers, starting pay is budgeted for $48,156 per year and a hiring bonus. There are also pay differentials available for things like education, military experience, foreign language, experience and special certifications.

For corrections, starting pay is budgeted for $35,939 per year, also with a hiring bonus and the same pay differentials available.

The hiring process is thorough and includes multiple interviews, background checks and a polygraph test.

"But we're also looking for officers that fit us," Bullock added. "We want officers that are professional and proactive. A lot of agencies have restricted how much their officers are working and some of them are coming to us because we are an agency that is proactive."

For Bullock, being proactive is a priority. He said working that way will keep crime out of the city.

"If you're reactive and you're just responding to calls then you don't have enough officers to provide the extra services to the citizens, then you'll never catch up to the crime and you can't get ahead of it," Bullock explained. "We believe in being proactive and keeping the crime out of Foley."

That approach is why Bullock said the city has a low crime rate.

"We have been driving our crime down and it continues to go down," said Bullock. "I don't even understand how we continue to keep the numbers going down because I would think at some point it would level off, but it just keeps decreasing."

It appears the proactive attitude of officers has paid off. The department has been named the Best Police Department in Baldwin County in the Gulf Coast Media's Best of Baldwin competition for the past two years.

"That's something I'm proud of," said Bullock. "It's all because of the men and women of our police department. They are the ones that are out there engaging with the public, acting in a professional manner and providing a service that we're proud of. They take care of our people."

The department is once again nominated for the voter-based competition this year.

If you are interested in applying to the Foley Police Department, go to the city's website for a list of job openings.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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