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Police Officer Hiring Process

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Examination Process

The examination process to become a Decatur Police Officer will take approximately sixteen (16) weeks and will consist of the following:

  1. Physical Fitness Test: All applicants must pass the physical fitness Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report (POWER) test to be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Applicants will be notified of the location and time of their physical fitness test upon receipt of application. The physical fitness test will include the following:

    1. Sit and Reach Test: This test measures flexibility, the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion.
    2. 1-Minute Sit-up Test: This test measures muscular endurance, the ability to contract the muscle repeatedly over a period of time.
    3. 1 Repetition Maximum Bench Press Test: This test measures muscular strength, the amount of force a muscle can produce with a single maximum effort.
    4. 1.5 Mile Run Test: This test measures cardiovascular endurance, the ability to perform prolonged, large muscle, dynamic exercise at moderate-to-high levels of intensity.
  2. Written Examination: Applicants passing the physical fitness test must take a written exam, also scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2016. Applicants passing the physical fitness test will be notified of the location and time of the written test. The written examination consists of four sections: Observation and Memory; Written Communication and Report Writing; Reading and Understanding Written Information; and Reasoning and Analytical Ability. Applicants are required to have an average overall score of at least 70.00% and a minimum score of at least 60.00% in any one section.
  3. Oral Interview: Applicants remaining in the process will be scheduled for an oral interview.
  4. Background Investigation: The position of police officer requires a great deal of public trust and carries a tremendous amount of responsibility. The background questionnaire will be distributed at the written examination and must be completed and returned by the due date on the questionnaire. Candidates must be of good moral character and will be subject to a thorough background investigation, including, but not limited to, police records check; credit check; inquiries of neighbors, relatives, employers, and other references. Candidates may be eliminated from the process at any time based on adverse information obtained from the background investigation. This includes information discovered about the candidate that would reflect negatively upon the Decatur Police Department if the candidate was hired. A conviction record may be considered on a case-by-case basis and will not necessarily disqualify a candidate. However, Illinois State law precludes appointment as a police officer with any felony conviction or any disqualifying conviction as set forth in 65 ILCS 5/Article 10-1-7(c). This can be viewed at As part of the background investigation process, applicants will be mandated to participate in a ride-along. Applicants that do not participate in the ride-along will be eliminated from the pre-employment process. They will be required to write a one page synopsis of their ride-along experience. Candidates are expected to dress in business casual clothing for the ride-along. T-shirts, jeans and shorts are prohibited.
  5. Veteran Points: Eligible veterans may receive 5 veteran preference points added to their final examination score in accordance with 65 ILCS 5/ Article 10-1-16. This can be viewed at
  6. Physical and Psychological Testing: Applicants placed on the eligible register must pass a physical examination including a drug test by a physician of the Commission's choice following an offer of employment. Applicants will also be subject to a psychological evaluation. Final appointment is contingent upon the passing of all of these components.
  7. Selection from Eligibility Register: Applicants who are placed on the eligible register will be selected by the Chief of Police.