If you’re among those interested in applying at the Chicago Police Department, you need to pass the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board first. Only after certification can you be eligible for hiring. However, you need to remember that the rate of applicants that drop out is high because the physical training aspect is so difficult.
Qualifications and Requirements
All applicants have to meet the minimum requirements to be qualified.
- All candidates have to be at least 21 years old.
- Candidates need to be a citizen of the United States.
- There must be no prior felony conviction.
- The applicant has to be of good moral character and shares the same value as the Illinois police.
- The applicant must have a high school diploma or GED.
- If the applicant is a former military personnel, he or she must have had honorable discharge.
- Due to the rigorous physical fitness test standards, applicants must be in good physical shape.
- A valid Illinois driver’s license is needed.
The Selection Process
Before you can enter the academy applicants have to pass the Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report. This is necessary to determine if the candidate is physically and mentally fit to handle the training in the academy. If you fail the test, you won’t be allowed entry into the academy.
The selection process covers numerous aspects and includes the following, but not limited to it.
- Written examination: this will determine the applicant’s comprehension, reading, problem solving and vocabulary skills. Whether you are applying at the Aurora Police Department or another one, the written test is almost always included.
- Interview – the interview may be conducted by the training manager, HR personnel or another representative. In any event, the questions will center on the reasons why you want to become a law enforcer and how you will cope with hypothetical situations.
- Medical exam – the medical exam will check your physical condition and if you’re fit for the job. The tests will include a psychological assessment.
- Background investigation – this is mandatory for all states, and it is very comprehensive. During the test you, your friends and neighbors may be questioned concerning your behavior.
- Applicants will also be subjected to a polygraph test.
- During the course of your training, there might be random drug tests.
The physical training will test your agility and require you to do sit ups, pushups and run to determine your physical strength and endurance. To learn how to prepare for the police academy particularly the physical exams, check out http://www.prepareforthepoliceacademy.com/, which explains what kind of workouts you can expect during training.
The physical agility tests cover both male and female applicants, although the routines they perform may vary. Be that as it may, it is still physically very demanding and only a few are able to go through it. If you want to pass the training program, you need to work on your physical conditioning otherwise you will get left behind.
The Naperville Police Department, in fact all police departments in the state, require applicants to undergo intensive academic training. On the average, the total number of hours of training (including field and academics) is well over 1,350 hours. The topics covered vary from one academy to another, but some are almost always covered.
These include, studying criminal law as it applies to the state, ethical and moral behavior, writing police reports, and conflict management. The latter is tied up with topics for handling various kinds of situations and learning to resolve them in a peaceful manner.
In addition to these, police officers are also trained to handle and respect cultural differences and sensibilities and how to conduct investigations. The number of hours this will take varies, but they are all very intensive. Aspiring police officers also have to go through the field training (FTO) program and learn rules and procedures that are unique to Illinois.
Police officers will also spend several hours training in the proper use of firearms, self-defense and patrolling. Aside from these, they’ll also spend time learning how to cope with emergency situations. This will include driving different kinds of vehicles, performing first aid and staying healthy and fit.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary of cops in the Rockford Police Department is $52,001, while at the Joliet Police Department it is $47,512. For the most part, the salaries of police officers in Illinois are at par with the national average, and the amount you make depends on your current position. If you are promoted, you will make more money, and you’ll receive other benefits like dental and life insurance, jury duty leave, vacation, deferred retirement plans and more.
To prepare for the mental and physical exams, you need to get ready before you actually join the academy. A little bit of training and preparation will go a long way, so here are some suggestions.
- http://www.isp.state.il.us/academy/academy.cfm is the official website of the Illinois State Police. This site has lots of updated information that would-be police officers will find useful. There are also links to other topics like criminal history, firearms, employment and others you will find useful.
- http://www.pti.illinois.edu/ is a police training institute, and it works in partnership with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to provide students with top of the line training.
- http://www.ptb.state.il.us/ is the official website of the Illinois Law and Training Standards Board, where applicants can find several valuable resources.
What all these resources will provide you is a guide to complete your training. As pointed out earlier, these will help you with the written exam, but if you want to pass the physical tests, you need to get yourself in shape first. If you get in shape and keep focused on the goal, you will have a greater chance of passing the test.