SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department’s Lateral Program began this week.
Officer Natalia Lohkamp says she’s excited to see what Springfield’s force has to offer.
“A lot more opportunities, they have a lot more different programs that most agencies in this area do not have,” Lohkamp said.
Lohkamp has her eyes on one program.
“I’m really excited to learn their defensive tactics program,” Lohkamp said. “It’s a lot more in-depth than any other program I’ve done previously.”
Lohkamp also previously worked for the Republic Police Department.
She says her past experiences prepared her for Springfield.
“Definitely gave me a lot more knowledge to know what to expect in this job profession, but there are always new things to learn,” Lohkamp said.
That being said, she’s confident in the skills she’s bringing here.
“Ability to talk to people, I’m really good at that,” Lohkamp said. “To relate with the community and everybody else that I work with and just, knowledge.”
In SPD’s Lateral Hire Program, officers from other agencies are rewarded for their resume.
“They’ll have an opportunity to come through an abbreviated academy,” Conklin said. “They’re already police officers so they don’t need six months going through a basic academy. We fine-tune it, get them up-to-speed to come here and get on the streets, helping citizens of Springfield.”
Conklin says having experienced officers is an advantage.
“Talking to people, knowing how to work under stress, those are tasks that are so difficult to train somebody and these men and women coming to our department have that skill,” Conklin said.
The program has an 11-year history of success.
“The Lateral that came through in 2008, he’s a sergeant now,” Conklin said. “The defensive tactics instructor for our academy now was a Lateral from California.”
If you’re interested in this program, you can call SPD’s recruiting officer.
You can also call the Springfield Police Department’s mainline at 417-864-1810 and ask for the recruiter.
Conklin says the hiring process can take a couple of months but it’s fairly quick.
For more information about the Lateral Hire Program click here.