How to Become a Police Officer in Chicago

The Chicago Police Department has one of the largest and most respected law enforcement units in the country with around 13,000 men and women in it’s workforce, to become a cop in Chicago a perspective cop has to first pass a written examination before anything else. They also hold recruitment events to attract would be cops, application forms are available at these events and in all Chicago Public Libraries as well as online through their website.

Minimum Qualifications to Become a Police Officer in Chicago

  • Must be at least 21 and not over 40 years of age at the time of appointment
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in the city of Chicago

Education and / or Employment Requirements

  • At least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor or an Associate’s degree or…
  • Four years of active duty in the military (should be continuous) or…
  • At least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor or an Associate’s degree PLUS one year of continuous active duty in the military

Employment Process in Becoming a Cop in Chicago

  1. Employment exam
  2. Physical fitness test
  3. Drug test / screening
  4. Psychological test
  5. Background investigation
  6. Medical test

Physical Fitness Test

Physical fitness and conditioning is very important for every individual who wants to be a cop, your success and failure in your goal will hinge on your fitness levels. At the Chicago Police Department they base their physical fitness test on the Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report or POWER test. This exam is a requirement for every trainee prior to going into the academy.

This test consist of 4 different events:

  • Sit and Reach Test
  • One minute sit ups
  • One repetition maximum bench press
  • 1.5 mile run

Chicago Police Academy

Applicants who are successful in the employment process will head to the Chicago Police Academy. At this point they are considered hired but will be in an 18-month probationary period, during this period they will start receiving their starting salary. The academy curriculum will be at least 480 hours which is required by the Illinois Government Law Enforcement Training Board, another 300 hours of basic training course are also needed.

Training courses include the following:

  •  Human behavior
  • Traffic laws
  • Weapons training
  • Department administrative systems and operations
  • Report writing
  • Crime investigation Procedures
  • Safety practices

Out of State Police Applicants

Certified police officers outside the city of Chicago needs to apply and go through the steps all applicants go through, the Chicago Police Department does not accept lateral transfers.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Chicago, visit the Chicago Police website or call (312) 745-5960.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Chicago.

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