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Kingsport police increasing seatbelt enforcement, seeking new officers

Jamey Vicars • May 22, 2019 at 10:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to increase seatbelt enforcement as a part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s nationwide Click It or Ticket mobilization from May 20-June 2.

The department is also taking applications for new police officers through June 2.

The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on increasing the enforcement of seatbelt violations to help prevent the loss of lives in traffic accidents.

According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, 299 people killed in traffic crashes in the state last year were not wearing a seat belt. This represents approximately 29 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities in 2018.

According to the NHTSA, 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States in 2017. In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.) were not wearing their seatbelts.

That percentage is why one focus of Click It or Ticket is nighttime enforcement. The participating law enforcement agencies are taking a no-excuses approach to seatbelt enforcement during the daytime and nighttime hours.

The KPD is accepting applications for police officers through June 2. The department is hoping to hire several new officers from this process to fill existing and upcoming vacancies. Those interested in a career in law enforcement are encouraged to apply. All applicants must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years old or turn 21 by Dec. 25, 2019.

After the deadline, applicants will receive a confirmation email and a letter by traditional mail with instructions for the testing process. For the first time in several decades, there will be no written entrance exam as part of the application. The testing for applicants will begin with a physical agility evaluation. The evaluation will be administered on both June 18 and June 25. Applicants will be divided alphabetically and will be assigned one of the dates. These sessions will be conducted at Domtar Park, located at 1414 Riverport Road.

The applicants who pass the physical evaluation will move on to an interview panel. Those with a sufficiently high combined score on the physical evaluation and the interview panel will be interviewed by Chief David Quillen to make final selections. The applicants selected will also be subject to a medical examination, psychological evaluation and a thorough background investigation before actual hiring.

The current starting salary for police officer trainee is $15.92 per hour or $33,119 annually. Applicants who are already certified law enforcement officers may have their salaries adjusted accordingly. All academy training and equipment, including uniforms, firearms, body armor and duty gear, are provided by the department. The KPD also issues take-home police cruisers to officers meeting specific residency requirements.

Applications can be submitted at www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport.

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