Becoming a Police Officer in Iowa City, Iowa

The Iowa City Police Department has authorized positions for 82 sworn officers who help to protect the public and uphold the city’s statutes and legal codes. If working to protect your follow citizens while maintaining the peace in Iowa city sounds like something you’d excel at, review these steps to learn how to become a police officer in Iowa City:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Agility Tests
  5. Psychological Examination
  6. Interviews
  7. Background Check
  8. Medical Examination
  9. Attend Police Academy for Training


Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Iowa City Police Officer Candidacy

If you wish to be considered as a police officer in Iowa City, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • Your vision must be correctable to 20/20.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be a resident of Iowa by the time you are hired.
  • You must have a driver’s license valid in Iowa at the time of your appointment.
  • You must not have an addiction to alcohol or drugs.
  • You must the equivalent of a high school education:
    • Diploma
    • GED

Step 2. Submit Your Application

You can only apply when a vacant position for a police officer is posted.  You can sign up to be notified by e-mail when positions become available.  You can download an application to submit.

Step 3. Written Examination

In your application packet, you will be notified of the date and location of your written examination.  Your test will be scored as soon as you have finished taking it.  Your exam will have an ID number on it, and these numbers will be used to post the scores.

Step 4. Physical Agility Tests

After you have attained one of the top scores on the written examination, you will be told the time and date of the physical agility tests.  Typically, this test is held the day after the written examination.  You will have to pass all of the phases of this testing to be able to continue.  The tests involve:

  • Sit and Reach
  • Maximum pushups in 1 minute
  • Maximum situps in 1 minute
  • 1.5 mile run

Step 5. Psychological Examination

Once you have succeeded in your physical agility testing, you will be given the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.  This is a classic test to determine personality traits and psychopathology.

Step 6. Interviews

After you have passed your psychological exam, you will be notified of the time and date of your oral interviews.  You will be interviewed by a panel who will then give you a ranking based on how the other candidates have done.  After ranking the candidates, they will choose who are the best candidates.

Step 7. Background Check

Once you have been determined to be one of the top candidates from the hiring process, an investigator from the police department will conduct a background check on you.

After this has been completed, the interview panel will produce a ranked list of the candidates.  This list is then given to the Civil Service Commission to be certified.  Once certified, the list of candidates will be given to the City Council.  Once the City Council has certified the list, the Chief of Police has the authorization to hire anyone on the list.

You must have successfully completed the National Police Officer Selection Test (P.O.S.T.) before you can be hired.

Step 8. Medical Examination

Now that you have been found to be a top candidate and a desirable hire, you will have to complete a medical examination to ensure that you are in good enough physical condition to become a police officer in Iowa City.

Step 9. Attend Police Academy for Training

Once you have passed your medical examination, the next step depends on whether you are certified or not.  If you are not certified as an officer in Iowa, you will be trained at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy or an accredited regional academy.  This type of training involves coursework in:

  • Criminal and traffic law
  • Human behavior
  • Investigating crimes and vehicle crashes

You will gain practical experience in:

  • Emergency driving
  • Pursuit driving
  • Firearms training
  • Physical conditioning
  • Defensive tactics

After you have finished your academy training, or if you were already certified, you will begin field training.  You will be on probation for 9 months from the date at which you were hired.

Based on June 2011, your annual salary will start at $41,828.80.  The maximum salary is currently $62,608.00 per year.

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