During calendar year 2006, the Palm Bay Police Department hired 21 new officers. Within the next year, it is anticipated the total number of sworn personnel will grow from the 164 budgeted positions to 172, making this the largest municipal police department in Brevard County. Current standards require candidates to complete nearly 800 hours of police academy training before joining the Department. Once hired, these officers must complete three weeks of orientation and another 14 weeks in a field training program before being allowed to perform the duties of a sworn law enforcement officer on their own.
The Department was formally notified the week of February 12, 2007 by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs that we have been officially “Approved for Veteran’s Training.” This means that probationary police officers, who are qualifying veterans and were Florida LEO certified after February 13, 2006 may be eligible for additional monthly benefits.
The “Montgomery GI Bill,” which supports this on-the-job training benefit, has been heralded as one of the most significant pieces of legislation produced by the federal government.
Additional information on Veterans’ Benefits is located on the web at www.gibill.va.gov. Questions may also be directed to a toll free number: 888-442-4551.