The North Adams Police Department wants out of the Civil Service, alleging that the program is too restricting during the hiring process.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the city has started the multi-step process to withdraw from the state's Civil Service, which focuses to ensure that qualified candidates are hired for public openings based on merit ….but has frustrated local departments.

In the absence of Civil Service — and the exam that determines the pool of available candidates to hire — the city would work to "define an appropriate candidate recruitment and promotion system.

North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard told The Eagle Thursday the main difference would be who administers the test," Bernard said. "I think we can put together a system that is as good, if not better, than what Civil Service offers."

The proposal will be heard Tuesday by the City Council, which could opt to vote on it that night or send it to committee for further review.

In a letter outlining his qualms with Civil Service this week, North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio described how the system limits the pool of available candidates and overemphasizes a written exam administered through the state Human Resources Division.

The role of the multiple-choice exam should be limited, Cozzaglio argued.

Withdrawing from Civil Service would also allow the city to set its own preferences when hiring. For example, Bernard said, it could decide to prioritize a background in military service.

If given the green light by the City Council. the withdrawal would also require approval from the Legislature. Bernard said he has been in contact with the offices of Sen. Adam Hinds and Rep. John Barrett III, and both are willing to file the legislation on the city's behalf.

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