Kent Police Department hires three officers

Carrie Blazina

Kent Police announced Friday that the department has hired three new officers to replace officers who retired last year.

The three new officers are Lindsey Llewellyn, Michael Carnahan and Matthew Brooks.

Lt. Jim Prusha of the Kent Police Department said the new officers were chosen from a pool of about 60 applicants and went through a year long process of civil service tests, physical fitness tests, background checks, lie detector tests, psychological evaluations, interviews and medical examinations before being hired.

“These folks applied a year ago and they’re just now starting,” Prusha said. “It’s a very long process, which is tough for us because we’ll have people retire and we’ll say, ‘oh, we better get working on it.’ Well, that’s just the beginning of a very long process. We kind of run with not enough officers while we’re trying to play catch up.”

There was always a plan to replace the retiring officers, Prusha said.

“Our chief prefers to have a pool of officers to look at and then choose the very best,” Prusha said. “These three new ones were that.”

Prusha said the officers were sworn in and did orientation paperwork last week. They began training this week and will shadow field training officers to get used to the different work shifts.

According to a press release, Llewellyn and Carnahan both graduated from the Kent State Police Academy, and Brooks received his Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certification from the University of Akron Police Academy. Llewellyn was a deputy with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and worked in the jail. Carnahan was a corrections officer at the Trumbull County Jail and a part-time officer with the Hubbard Police Department. Brooks is a former Marine and National Guardsman and was employed part-time with the Springfield Police Department.

Though the officers can take as much as three months to complete field training, Prusha said the department is looking forward to having the officers in the field.

“We’re hoping that they’ll catch on quickly,” he said.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].