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READING, Pa. – During its Monday night Committee of the Whole meeting, Reading City Council discussed an amendment to police promotion requirements.

One of the proposed changes is to eliminate the requirement for a candidate for the position of captain to have college credits.

"We are looking at the best practices in the civil service process," said Reading Police Chief Richard Tornielli. "The college points discriminate against those that don't have the ability," he said, referring to candidates who don't have the financial means to attend college.

Councilwoman Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz said she is opposed to eliminating the college credit requirements.

"We want to raise the bar and set high standards," Cepeda-Freytiz said. "If I look at the census data, I would be considered to be poor, but I have a master's degree. When there's a will, there is a way."

Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said she agreed and asked if there could be some sort of incentive program to encourage police to seek a degree.

Tornielli said the department would welcome an incentive program for the future.

"I am looking at the immediate need," he said. "That is something that would be farther down the road."

Council President Jeffrey Waltman reminded council that policing offers a daily education experience.

"You don't want to be forced to promote someone who may not have excelled in the day-to-day experience," Waltman said.

The next Committee of the Whole meeting is April 26 at 5 p.m.

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