Officers William Reid (left) and Saul Fajardo have successfully completed police academy training as of May 7. They are pictured here, each with DeRidder Police Chief John Gott on the right.

Prior to attending the police academy, officer candidates must pass several tests – from physical to psychological, a drug screening and a civil service test. At that point, they are eligible to be hired by the department. The new-hires do pre-academy testing, such as with firearms or online tests, Gott said. They ride along with police officers but at that point, they do not yet have arrest powers and do not carry firearms. After graduating from the academy, the new officers finish up their year-long probationary period with on-the-job field training with the DeRidder Police Department.