(Update: Adding video, comments from chief of police)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Police Department hosted the second annual First Responder Job Fair and Community Event on Saturday at Riverbend Park in Bend, with numerous agencies on hand to display and discuss their roles in the community.
Those who attended learned more about careers in law enforcement and public safety and explore current job openings in local first responder agencies.
"Getting into the community, but also recruiting -- that's really our goal today, is get people interested in the careers of being a first responder and in law enforcement," Police Chief Mike Krantz said.
"For us, it's pretty critical. We're a large agency, so we have pretty constant recruiting activities going on," he said. "We have seven or eight openings right now that we're trying to fill."
So the goal of the event, he said, was "getting people here, getting familiar with what we do. Being open to questions, showing equipment, and things that we do is really important. How to get people in the door and start your career."
The following agencies were in attendance:
- City of Bend Police Department
- Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
- Redmond Police Department
- Crook County Sheriff’s Office
- Madras Police Department
- Oregon State Police
- Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division
- Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
- City of Bend Fire & Rescue
- Redmond Fire & Rescue
- U.S. Forest Service Fire
- Deschutes County 911 Service District
- Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office
- Deer Ridge Correctional Institution
- Oregon Air National Guard
- Central Oregon Community College Criminal Justice program
In addition to booths providing information about public safety and first responder careers and job openings, agencies had a variety of public safety vehicles on site, and Bend Police set up the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT) course. They also provided demonstrations from their K9 unit and unmanned aerial systems (drones) pilots.
The event was free to attend and open to the public. Families were welcome, and kids were invited to test the ORPAT and check out the police and fire vehicles that were on hand.