How to Become a Police Officer in Iowa

Even though in Iowa, the applicants for the position of police officer must be less than 65 years old, it is necessary to point out that their physical abilities, vision and hearing must be in perfect shape as well. Moreover, those who want to know how to become a police officer in Iowa must not oppose to using force while on the job in order to fulfill the demands of the position.

At the same time, candidates will need to undergo a pre-employment drug pre-screening. If in the screening, the applicant is found to use any form of tobacco or alcohol products that violate the Iowa State Code during the probationary period, they will be consider ineligible for the position.

Basic Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of hiring.
  • Must have U.S. citizenship.
  • Has to be a resident of Iowa or intends to be a resident at the time of hiring.
  • Should have a valid Iowa driver’s license.
  • Must have good moral character to be determined by a background investigation.

Potential Dis-qualifiers

  • Use of illegal drugs.
  • A felony or misdemeanor conviction.

Physical Standards

  • Should have normal hearing on each ear.
  • Hearing aids are permitted provided that the officer demonstrates sufficient hearing proficiency and can perform their duties.
  • Uncorrected vision of 20/200 that should be corrected to 20/20.
  • Must have color vision that is compliant to the occupational demands of law enforcement.

Out of State Applicants

Certified police officers outside the state of Iowa don’t need to go through the academy again provided that they have served as a sworn peace officer for 12 months and have obtained academy training for at least 160 hours.

Physical Fitness Requirements

The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council puts a great deal of emphasis on the physical fitness of the new recruits. The importance of fitness and health comes from the fact that cardiovascular condition and obesity are a known problem in the state and ILEA takes on the responsibility of reducing these risks.

The physical examination of the applicants for the Iowa police academy consists of 4 basic tests:

  • Sit and reach test – focused on minimizing lower back problems, this task involves stretching to touch the toes or an object beyond the toes from a sitting position
  • 1 minute sit up test – evaluates the strength of the abdominal muscles and is known to reduce lower back problems. Depending on the age of the candidate, men are expected to do up to 38 sit ups and at least 19 sit ups, while women are required to perform between 6 sit ups to 32 sit ups.
  • 1 minute push up test – examines the candidate’s upper body force which will be used in a variety of situations. Again, depending on age, men who want to know how to become a police officer in Iowa need to do between 29 and 10 pushups, while women 15 to 9 pushups (women over 49 might be exempted from this exercise)
  • 1.5 mile run – testing the capacity of the heart and cardiovascular system

For more information on becoming a police officer in Iowa, visit the Iowa law enforcement training academy website or call 515-242-5357.

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

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