In Stonington, two job openings, 160 applicants

Stonington - How scarce are full-time jobs with benefits?

About 160 people have applied for the police department's two openings: for an animal control officer and a dispatcher. Both jobs offer starting salaries in the mid to high $30,000 range.

Police Chief J. Darren Stewart, said Thursday that about 80 people have applied for each job. He said that while the economy is playing a role in the large number of applicants, he was not too surprised by the number of applicants, as the positions don't often become available. He added a lot of people are interested in getting into the emergency services field. He said a dispatcher's job typically draws about 35 to 40 applicants.

"We're seeing people who may have worked in an industry that is downsizing. They've been laid off and they're looking for work in a different field," Stewart said.

He said he expects the department will be putting forth the recommended candidates to the Board of Police Commissioners in about six weeks.

In addition to the dispatcher and animal control positions, the department is also in the process of testing and reviewing candidates for two police officer vacancies.

"It's a lot of work, but it's a good thing when you have a lot of people interested in coming to your department," Stewart said.

- JOE WOJTAS

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