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Police Officer Hiring Process

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, July 19, 2014. 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 range of motion of a joint or group of joints.
    2. One Minute Sit-up Test: This test measures muscular endurance, the ability to contract the muscle repeatedly over a period of time.
    3. One Repetition Maximum Bench Press Test: This test measures muscular strength, the amount of tension a muscle can exhibit in one maximal contraction.
    4. 1.5 Mile Run Test: This test measures cardiovascular endurance, the ability of the heart and vascular system to transport oxygen.
  2. Written Examination: Applicants passing the physical fitness test must take a written exam, also scheduled for Saturday, July 19, 2014. Applicants passing the physical fitness test will be notified of the location and time of the written test. A large part of a police officer's job involves report writing, reading and interpreting divisional rules and regulations, state statutes, etc. This written exam is designed to measure the candidate's abilities in these areas. 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 65.00% in any one section.
  3. Background Investigation: 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 check 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 check. 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 identified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
  4. Ride-Along: Applicants remaining in the process will be required to participate in a ride-along to give them a realistic view of what Police Patrol Officers encounter during regular duty hours. 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. Oral Interview: Applicants remaining in the process will be notified regarding an oral interview.
  6. Veteran's Points: Eligible veterans may receive 5 veteran preference points added to their final examination score in accordance with State of Illinois and City of Decatur Civil Service laws.
  7. 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.
  8. Selection from Eligibility Register: Applicants who are placed on the eligible register will be selected by the Chief of Police.