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How to Become a Police Officer in Wisconsin

Becoming a Police Officer in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Green Bay Police Department accepts applications for the position of Patrol Officer during specified periods in order to compile an eligibility list that will be used to fill vacancies that occur during the year.

The steps necessary to become a police officer in the City of Green Bay are listed below.

  1. Qualifications of a Patrol Officer
  2. Complete Online Application
  3. Take Written Test, Including Report Writing
  4. Take Physical Agility Testing for Police Work
  5. Interview and Background Investigation

Step 1. Qualifications of a Patrol Officer

Note that candidates may apply if they have not yet met the first two qualifications, but will have met them by a target date specified in the application itself.

  • Candidates must either have graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree in any field or have achieved an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Be either already certified as a Wisconsin law enforcement officer, or will have completed recruitment academy and eligible for certification
  • United States citizen
  • Be a resident of Brown County or adjoining counties within one year of hire as police officer
  • Driver’s license
  • Minimum age to apply is 18 years old
  • Any felony convictions will disqualify an applicant, including domestic violence

Step 2. Complete Online Application

Applications for Green Bay police jobs are available here. Candidates must fill in all fields in the application. Even though a resume is attached, the job history must be completed, including any volunteer activity or internships. All candidates will be contacted via email if they are eligible to continue in the hiring process.

Step 3. Take Written Test, Including Report Writing

A written test will be administered that will include requiring candidates to view a video and write a sample police report.

Step 4. Take Physical Agility Testing

For the next step, candidates will undergo tests of their physical capabilities to determine if they can perform police work.

Step 5. Interview and Background Investigation

According to ranking, candidates will be contacted to appear for in person interviews. An initial interview will be with the Police Department Panel and a final interview will be with the Police and Fire Commission.

Top candidates will undergo a background investigation to determine final ranking.

Becoming a Police Officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The Kenosha Police Department has more than 200 sworn police officers whose mission it is to provide safety and security to the citizens of the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The following series of steps will take you through the requirements and hiring process that police recruits in Kenosha undertake in the pursuit of police jobs.

  1. Submit Online Application during Open Recruitment
  2. Kenosha Police Officer Standards
  3. Examination Process
  4. Probationary Period

Step 1. Submit Online Application During Open Recruitment

During certain periods in the year, the Kenosha Police Department actively accepts applications for police officer jobs. An eligibility list is compiled and new officers are recruited from the most highly qualified candidates on this list.

Interested candidates should view current active employment openings through the City of Kenosha’s Online Application System. The City of Kenosha has implemented an electronic recruitment process and only accepts online applications. You will first be required to create a NEOGOV account. You will then submit your application electronically. Note that incomplete applications will be rejected.

If you are interested in submitting your application, the next step is to review the police officer requirements for Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Step 2. Kenosha Police Officer Standards

  • The Wisconsin State Legislature had mandated that candidates for police officer positions must possess an Associate Degree or a minimum of 60 college credits. If you currently do not meet this standard, you must earn these college credits within five years of your employment on the Kenosha police force. You also must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
  • United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Current Wisconsin driver’s license with good driving record (maximum of six points assessed)
  • No prior felony convictions, including domestic violence
  • Undergo testing to ensure ability to meet physical and psychological standards required of police officers
  • Meet residency requirements by one month after probationary period. Officers must reside in either Kenosha County; Franklin; Oak Creek; Racine County, except the Town of Waterford (the Village of Waterford is acceptable); South Milwaukee or Lake County, IL.

Step 3. Examination Process

Qualified candidates will be notified after their application has been evaluated of the times, dates and locations of the following tests that prospective police officer candidates must take:

  • Written examination
  • Oral interviews (both preliminary and with Kenosha Police Department)
  • Medical examination, including vision and hearing screening and a drug test
  • Psychological evaluation

Those candidates who have successfully passed the testing segment of the hiring process will undergo a thorough investigation of their background, including previous employers.

Step 4. Probationary Period 

After the examination process, candidates will be ranked and a list of eligible candidates will be compiled that will be used to select probationary police officer to fill open positions. Kenosha police officers are considered probationary employees for 252 days.

Becoming a Police Officer in Madison, Wisconsin

The Madison Police Department (MPD) serves Wisconsin’s capital city with a vision of providing police work in partnership with the Madison community in a trust-based approach to law enforcement.

If you are ready to find out how to become a police officer in Madison, here are the steps to follow, as well as a helpful overview of the application and hiring process:

  1. The MPD Applicant
  2. Submitting the MPD Application Packet
  3. The Hiring Process
  4. Training and Probationary Period

Step 1. The MPD Applicant

The Madison Police Department prides itself on diversity, and is looking for individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds and work experience who can communicate and work well with a multi-cultural population.

  • Minimum age is 18, and while the typical age range of new recruits is between 22 -45, there is no upper age limit.
  • Education requirements
    • High school graduate or a G.E.D. certificate
    • Within five years of employment, officers must obtain (if they do not already possess) an Associate’s Degree or college credits totaling sixty hours.
    • United States citizen
    • Have no prior felony convictions or a conviction for domestic violence
    • Driver’s license and eligibility to obtain a Wisconsin driver’s license if current license is from another state
    • Applicants must also measure up to the MPD health standards for its officers

Step 2. Submitting the MPD Application Packet

Applications must be filled out completely, with no sections left blank. You can obtain an application:

  • Download online; or phone 608.266-4190 and an application kit will be mailed to you.
  • Applicants who are military veterans and want to claim Veterans Preference Points should attach a copy of form DD214
  • Email your completed application to: dslawek@cityofmadison.com. If you do not receive a confirmation email within ten working days, phone (608) 266-4190 or email: Deb Slawek.

Step 3. The Hiring Process

In order to hire the most qualified candidates, the following processes will take place:

  • After your application is reviewed, the next step is the standardized Nelson/Denny written examination to measure your vocabulary and reading comprehension. Also, essay questions will be given to you beforehand to read, which you should review carefully. You will be asked to provide written responses to these questions.
  • Those with the highest scores will be called in for an oral interview.
  • A background investigation will be conducted for those who pass the oral interview.
  • The Madison County Chief of Police will then personally interview the highest scoring candidates. These candidates will also do a ride-along with an officer and may have an interview with a psychiatrist as well.
  • An assessment of candidates’ physical agility, including flexibility, sit-ups, cardio-vascular fitness, upper-body strength and muscular endurance, will be undertaken.

Step 4. Training and Probationary Period

  • First, an initial four-month training program is required of all new recruits and is conducted under direction of the training staff of the Madison Police Department. This training is held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
  •  Next, new officers are assigned a mentor and undergo four months of field training.
  • Officers are considered on probation for a period of 18 months, after which they will be assigned to patrol services.

The starting salary for a beginning police officer as of January, 2013, is $44,511 annually with a raise after six months to $49,304. The MPD also offers educational incentive pay.

If you would like additional information, contact the Madison County Police Department at (608) 266-4190 or a recruiter at (608) 266-4379.

Becoming a Police Officer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Police Department’s approximately 2,000 police officers work to protect and serve residents of Wisconsin’s largest city. If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Milwaukee, this guide will describe the steps to take:

  1. Meet Qualifications Required of a Milwaukee Police Officer
  2. Submit Application During Recruitment Period
  3. Take Written Examination
  4. Take Physical Ability and Aptitude Test
  5. Undergo Background Investigation
  6. Undergo Pre-employment Medical and Psychological Examinations
  7. Probationary Period and Training

Step 1. Meet Qualifications Required of a Milwaukee Police Officer

  • 21 years of age or older
  • High school diploma or a GED certificate that meets Wisconsin standards
  • Associate’s Degree (two year) or at least 60 hours of college level credit, or meet these higher level educational requirements within five (5) years of date of employment with MPD.
  • Current Wisconsin driver’s license. If you are now living in another state, you should have a valid driver’s license from that state.
  • City of Milwaukee resident for at least six (6) months, as well as throughout employment with the police force if you are hired.
  • United States citizen
  • Honorable discharge if previously served in the U.S. military
  • No prior felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Possess 20/20 vision or that can be corrected to that level, as well as normal hearing

Step 2. Submit Application during Recruitment Period

During the open period when the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is actively recruiting for police officers, you should obtain, carefully complete and submit an application.

You can obtain a police officer application through the City of Milwaukee online employment center or in person:

City of Milwaukee
Fire and Police Commission
200 East Wells Street, Room 706
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Step 3. Take Written Examination

Applicants must take and successfully pass a written examination. If your application meets MPD standards, you will be notified when and where to take the examination. In addition, you may receive preference points added to your score if you meet selected criteria, such as if you are a qualified veteran (DD-214 required) or possess an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a subject area such as law enforcement, police science, or criminal justice. All candidates will be ranked according to their score on the examination, plus any additional points, and then proceed to the next examination in the hiring process, based on their final composite score.

Step 4. Take Physical Ability and Aptitude Test

The next step in the hiring process is testing of your physical ability and aptitude for police work. The physical ability test will include a 1½ mile run. Many candidates find it helpful to view this video about the test to know what to expect and have an opportunity to prepare.

Step 5. Undergo Background Investigation

Candidates must pass a background investigation and will be requested to complete a Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) at the beginning of this part of the hiring process. This video provides information about the background investigation and tips on completing the PHQ.

Step 6. Undergo Pre-employment Medical and Psychological Examinations

You will be asked to provide extensive information about your medical history and will undergo a physical examination, along with possible laboratory tests. You may also undergo a psychological examination to determine your suitability for police work.

For more information about the medical standards necessary for a Milwaukee police officer, refer to The California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Medical Screening Manual.

Step 7. Probationary Period and Training

Those candidates offered jobs will have a probationary period of 16 months, during which time they will be required to successfully complete officer training at the Police Academy. This training lasts for 23 weeks, during which time you will be paid. After the Academy training, recruits will undergo field training at a district police station.

The annual starting salary for a Milwaukee police officer is $42,563 annually.

Becoming a Police Officer in Racine, Wisconsin

The Racine Police Department (RPD) provides law enforcement and community protection services to the residents of Racine, Wisconsin, a city of less than 100,000 residents located between Milwaukee and Chicago on Lake Michigan.  The mission of the RPD is to provide the best possible community-oriented police services, and the department has guidelines and hiring procedures in place to recruit the best officers to help meet this goal.

The following step-by-step guide will provide insight into the hiring process, along with department requirements that must be met in order to become a police officer in Racine.

  1. Racine Police Officer Basic Requirements
  2. RPD Application Pack
  3. RPD Testing
  4.  Racine Police and Fire Commission Panel Interview
  5. Shift Experience
  6. Chief’s Interview
  7. Medical and Psychological Exams and Pre-Employment Drug Testing
  8. Employment Start Date and Academy

Step 1. Racine Police Officer Basic Requirements

  • Moral character fitting for a police officer, including no convictions of felonies or serious misdemeanor crimes
  • United States citizen and willing to become a resident of Wisconsin upon joining the RPD
  • Minimum age of 21 years
  • High school diploma or GED certificate, along with a minimum of sixty (60) credit hours in higher education, such as at a technical or junior college, college or university. The school itself must submit your certified college transcript.
  • Weight must be in proportion to height
  • Vision in both eyes must be 20/20 or can be corrected to 20/20. Contact lenses are acceptable.
  • Applicants should have no Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or hit and run convictions or have had driver’s license revoked with the past three (3) years.

Step 2. RPD Application Pack

The Human Resources department handles the initial hiring process for Racine police officers. Open positions can be found online here. If the city is not currently actively hiring for police officers, you can submit a request to be notified via email so you will know when the next hiring period will be scheduled.

When the hiring period for officers opens up, download a RPD application packet and fill it out completely, including attaching certified copies of your college transcripts and a recent color passport-type photo. Either mail or drop off your completed application at: Racine Police Department, Attn Recruitment, 730 Center Street, Racine, WI 53403.

If an orientation meeting is announced, attending is a good opportunity to learn more about the hiring process and ask questions.

Step 3. RPD Testing

All candidates will undergo a series of tests, including an evaluation of physical agility, a written examination to assess communication and math skills and a background investigation.

Step 4. Racine Police and Fire Commission Panel Interviews

Candidates that successfully pass the testing process will have preliminary oral interviews conducted by a panel comprised of the Racine Police and Fire Commission.

Step 5. Shift Experience

Those interested in a career as a police officer will have an opportunity to ride with a Field Training Officer during a regular shift for a minimum of four (4) hours.

Step 6. Chief’s Interview

Qualified candidates will be called in for an interview with the Racine Chief of Police.

Step 7. Medical examination and Psychological Interview and pre-employment drug testing

Candidates under consideration will be notified of time and location to report for a medical/psychological examination. Candidates will also be required to submit to drug testing.

Step 8. Employment start date and Recruit School

Candidates offered employment who are not already certified as police officers will be notified of the start date for basic police officer training.

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