Becoming a Police Officer in Waterloo, Iowa

The 125 sworn officers of the Waterloo, Iowa Police Department handled 77,278 calls for help in 2012, which represented a decrease of 2.5% in the number of incidents responded to in 2011.  If you’ve got what it takes to become a law enforcement professional, follow these instructions to learn how to join these officers and help fight crime in Waterloo.

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examinations
  4. Interview
  5. Medical Examination
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Physical Fitness Testing
  8. Attend Police Academy for Training


Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Waterloo Police Officer Candidacy

If you wish to be considered to become a police officer in Waterloo, you must meet the following police officer standard requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old by the deadline of your application.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be willing to live within 10 miles of police headquarters.
  • You must be fluent in English.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED by the deadline of your application.
  • You must have excellent vision (20/100 correctable to 20/20 and not color blind).
  • You must have normal hearing.
  • You cannot have any dependency on drugs or alcohol.
  • You must be able to legally possess a firearm.

Step 2. Submit Your Application

When openings in the Waterloo Police Department are being advertised, you should submit a cover letter and resume to either or

City of Waterloo Human Resources
620 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, IA  50703

You must include your social security number and the number of your driver’s license on one of these documents.  If you are applying from out of state, you must have a copy of your driving records sent to the Human Resources Office.

Step 3. Written Examinations

Once you have been chosen from the pool of applicants, you will have to take written examinations.

Step 4. Interview

After you have passed your written examinations, you will be interviewed by a panel who will assess your demeanor, background, and skills.

Step 5. Medical Examination

Once you have passed your interview, you will undergo a thorough medical examination to ensure that you are healthy enough to become a police officer in Waterloo.  This will include a drug screen.

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

After you have been cleared by a physician, the department will thoroughly investigate your background to make sure that you have the appropriate character to be a police officer in Waterloo.  You will have to take a polygraph examination as part of this process to verify what has been found out about you.

Step 7. Physical Fitness Testing

Once your background check has been successful, you will have to undergo physical fitness testing to meet the standards of the state of Iowa.  This includes at least:

  • Situps
  • Pushups
  • Running 1.5 miles

Step 8. Attend Police Academy for Training

After you passed the physical fitness test and been selected from among the other candidates, you will undergo basic training at one of two locations.  This will be either at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy or Hawkeye Community College.  Both institutions will train you for the job of police officer.

You will learn academic coursework in such topics as criminal and traffic law, along with aspects of human behavior.  You will also receive practical training in using firearms, high-speed emergency and pursuit driving, and defensive tactics.

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