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Medford asks to prioritize bilingual applicants for 9 police jobs

The Medford Police Department is seeking state approval to prioritize bilingual applicants in hiring nine new officers.

In a petition to the state’s Executive Office of Administration and Finance, Police Chief Jack Buckley requested the department be allowed to give priority to officers who self-identify as speaking both English and at least one of the following languages: Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole.

The goal is to have three bilingual officers in each of the three languages. Typically, police departments hire officers from a state list that is based on the highest scores on a Civil Service exam. Medford’s request follows a Selective Certification procedure in which departments can prioritize hiring eligible officers based on specialized and job-related qualifications.


City officials said the request reflects Medford’s ongoing efforts to increase diversity within its municipal workforce.

“We will continue to explore every available avenue to ensure our police department looks like, talks like, and listens to our residents in a way that reflects and respects our rich cultural diversity,” Neil Osborne, director of Medford’s Office of Diversity and Human Resources, said in a statement.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.