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How To Be A Police Officer In Illinois

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How To Become A Police Officer In Chicago

COP ATTACKED: Illinois police officer beaten and strangled during traffic stop

Dating back to 1837, the Chicago police force is one of the oldest in the world. The Chicago Police Department serves a population of over 2.7 million residents and, with approximately 12,000 sworn officers, is the second-largest department after New York City.1 The CPD has 279 police beats within its jurisdiction in addition to special units and divisions. To combat a rising violent crime epidemic, the CPD has pledged to focus on community policing and other proactive initiatives designed to effectively curb violence in Chicagos communities. Anyone looking to become a police officer in Chicago must fulfill a number of requirements before becoming eligible for active duty in the city. The steps to eligibility are explained in detail below.

Additional Resources

The Minimum Requirements To Becoming A Police Officer

Before applying for a job at the Chicago Police Department, candidates must ensure that they meet the minimum requirements for employability.

The minimum requirements are as follows. Candidates must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age, but no more than 40 years of age
  • Hold a valid Illinois drivers license
  • Have a minimum of 90 semester credits from an accredited college/university, preferably in criminal justice or related fields OR have served in the US Armed Forced for three consecutive years OR have at least 30 semester credits and have served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of one continuous year
  • Possess a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card
  • Be a resident of Chicago

If you meet the minimum requirements, you can complete an application form and prepare for the written examination.

What Reimbursement Form Do I Complete

Three different reimbursement forms may be found online.

The Basic Reimbursement form must be used for basic law enforcement or correction training when an employee becomes a full-time law enforcement officer or a full- time county correctional officer.

The Part-Time Basic Reimbursement form must be used when an employee becomes a part-time officer.

A Non-Basic Reimbursement form must be used for all other certified and reimbursable training listed in the State of Illinois Training Schedule of Board Certified Classes.

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Chicago Police Salary And Job Outlook

The job prospects for police officers in Chicago are promising considering the large size of the Chicago Police Department. According to data from O*NET OnLine, this profession is expected to see a 5%-8% growth between 2014-24.

According to the latest information available on the CPDs official website, after 18 months on the job, police officers can earn $72,510 plus benefits.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , employment of police and sheriffs patrol officers in Illinois in 2015 was as follows:


Illinois also falls in the top five states with the highest employment levels for police officers.

Becoming A Police Officer In Joliet Illinois

Police Officer Casey Joseph Kohlmeier, Pontiac Police Department, Illinois

Joliet, Illinois is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. With a growth rate of 39-percent over the last decade, there are often opportunities to secure work with theJoliet Police Department.

When determining how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Joliet, there are a series of steps you must complete to be eligible for available jobs:

  • Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements
  • Step 2. Complete Application
  • Step 6. Polygraph and Drug Screen
  • Step 7. Medical and Psychological Exam
  • Step 8. Training Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements

Before applying for jobs with the Joliet Police Department, you must meet minimum requirements as laid out by the department. The requirements are as follows:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must be in good physical condition
  • Must be of high moral character
  • Must reside in the city of Joliet

Step 2. Complete Application

If you meet the minimum requirements to work as a police officer, then you must complete an application for the job. Applications can only be picked-up at the Joliet City Hall. The application will cost $40 to obtain and is only accepted before May 5 of each year.

Step 3. Physical Fitness Test

Step 4. Background Check

Step 6. Polygraph and Drug Screen

Step 7. Medical and Psychological Exam

Step 8. Training Academy

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Who Is Responsible For Slea At College Of Dupage

The SLEA Director oversees the day to day administrative operations of SLEA. The SLEA Director reports directly to the Associate Dean of the Homeland Security Training Institute. SLEA is a department within the Continuing Education program at College of DuPage, which is overseen by the Dean of Continuing Education.

Police Education And Training

Police officers investigate and prevent crime, ensuring that law and order is maintained in every community. A challenging job, to become a police officer in Chicago the applicants must have a minimum 60 semester hours from an accredited college. A degree in criminal justice or criminal law is quite comprehensive and prepares students for a career in police force. Through a broad and engaging curriculum, students learn about state laws, crime, criminal investigation, and criminal justice framework. Most people aspiring to become a police officer opt for bachelors degree in criminal justice field. To pursue career as police officer, students can choose from various degree programs that include associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree, and certification programs.

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Becoming A Police Officer In Chicago Illinois

The history of Chicago law enforcement makes it one of the most exciting and dynamic places to work as a police officer. From Al Capone to the Democratic Convention in 1968 to now, a time when the city has one of the highest crime rates in the country, there is always work to be done in the city of Chicago. With a total metropolitan population of more than 9 million, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the country.

When considering how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Chicago, there are a series of steps you must first complete. The following are the phases you must complete when becoming a police officer in Chicago:

  • Step 1. Meet Minimum Qualifications
  • Step 2. Complete Written Examination
  • Step 3. Interview
  • Step 8. Training Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Qualifications

The first thing you must do before applying for a job with the Chicago Police Department is to review the minimum requirements. You cannot be considered for employment if you do not meet all of the minimum qualifications. The qualifications are as follows:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age, and at most 40 years of age
  • Must have a valid drivers license from Illinois
  • Must have at least 90 semester credit hours from a university
  • Must have a Firearm Owners Identification Card
  • Must be a resident of Chicago

Step 2. Complete Written Examination

Step 3. Interview

Step 7. POWER Test

Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report

Caseyville police officer saves choking baby

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, in recognizing the importance of physical fitness status for academy performance , has established the Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report Test for entering any of the Illinois certified police academies.

The POWER Test will be provided to all candidates prior to entering the academy to see if each individual meets the standards. These fitness entrance requirements help to ensure that each recruit can undergo both the physical and academic demands of an academy without undue risk of injury and with a level of fatigue tolerance to meet all academy requirements. If the applicant does not meet all the standards, the recruit will not be allowed to enter the academy.

In an effort to brief police administrators and police applicants, the pamphlet will provide information on the rationale, purpose, testing and procedures, standards of performance and fitness activities to prepare for the POWER test. It is intended to answer the basic questions pertaining to all aspects of the fitness testing process. Any questions you may have about these standards should be directed to the Boards Office at 782-4540.

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Why File A Waiver Application On An Officer Who Has Basic Training And Is Moving From Another Agency

The Illinois Police Training Act stipulates that an officer upon employment must complete basic training with-in the first six months of his/her hire date. The waiver application filed on behalf of the officer by his new employing agency is seeking a waiver of that training responsibility due to previous training. Since officers are not licensed a waiver must be filed for each employment. You do, however, have the option, and may send the officer back through a basic training academy.

Who Do State Troopers Work For

A state trooper is a police officer who works at the state level. State troopers enforce laws on state and federal highways and sometimes assist local police jurisdictions. Also known as highway patrol officers, these professionals must meet certain requirements before being hired.

Is there a height requirement for state troopers?

What are the height requirements for a state trooper? Chest â Male Minimum 84 cm. Expansion 5 cm.

How much do state troopers make an hour?

What Is the Average State Trooper Salary by State State Hourly Wage Annual Salary California â State Trooper Salary $24.71 $51,394 Virginia â State Trooper Salary $24.59 $51,148 Rhode Island â State Trooper Salary $24.41 $50,768 Arizona â State Trooper Salary $24.18 $50,290

Can you become a state trooper with a DUI?

Technically, even if you have a DUI you can get hired as a police officer in most states, depending on the circumstances of your arrest and court case. Therefore, if you were convicted of a felony DUI, you canât become a cop.

Which state troopers get paid the most?

The states and districts that pay Patrol Officers the highest mean salary are California , Alaska , New Jersey , Washington , and Illinois .

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Salary Benefits And Jobs Outlook

According to the CPD website, as of March 2022, the starting salary for a Chicago police officer was $54,672, with an increase to $82,458 after 18 months of service.3 The CPD also offers a number of regular pay increases and promotions for specialized or command positions. Salaries are also supplemented according to annual duty availability and benefits include an annual uniform allowance, tuition reimbursement, health insurance, and home purchase assistance.3 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the average salary for police officers in the Chicago metro area was $$87,050 as of 2021.5

In an effort to counter the recent spike in attrition rate, the CPD is waiving the education requirement for three years of experience in certain jobs (including police officer, correctional officer, detention officer, security worker, or careers in social service, healthcare, or education.6 Across Illinois, employment of police officers is expected to increase by 1.8% through 2028.7

For more information on current Chicago law enforcement positions, take a look at our job board page.

Entry Level Police Officers

Police Officer Joseph Cappello, Melrose Park Police Department, Illinois

Every applicant must be of good moral character, temperate habits, of sound health, and must be physically able to perform the duties of the position applied for.

If hired, an entry level Belleville Police Officer with no prior police experience will attend a 14-week police academy located at Southwestern Illinois College . Upon successful completion and graduation from the academy, probationary officers begin a 14-week field training program under the direction of a Field Training Officer.


To participate in the Entry-Level Selection Process for the position of police officer, a candidate must possess or adhere to the following requirement:

  • Between the ages of 21-35.
  • Exceptions: 1) Candidates who are over 35 years of age, and have any amount of full-time law enforcement experience with a municipality in any state, are eligible, 2) Candidates who have Illinois Sheriff Deputy and or Illinois State Police patrol experience are eligible up to the age of 40, and 3) Candidates who are 20 years of age and have successfully completed 64 college credit hours or an Associates Degree at an accredited college or university, are eligible, 4) a military veteran shall be allowed to exceed age 35 by the number of years served in active military duty, up to 10 years

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Pass Required Exams And Assessments

Once you’re hired for a job as a police officer in Illinois, the next step is to pass the required tests to make you eligible for training. The state requires all police officers to pass a drug test, a background screening and the Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report test when hired. The POWER test includes four exercises designed to assess your physical endurance. Tests you may take to evaluate your mental and emotional preparedness for a job as a police officer include:

  • Psychological evaluation

How To Become An Illinois State Police Officer

To become an Illinois State Police officer, candidates must be 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States, have no felony convictions, possess a valid drivers license, and be willing to accept assignment anywhere in Illinois. Candidates must also have a bachelors degree or must have an associates degree with at least three years of service as a police officer or in active military duty. The education requirement may be waived for those with exceptional military service who have earned a qualifying service medal.

After submitting an online application, qualified applicants will be contacted to take the written recruitment exam, which will be proctored at a local community college. Those who pass will next complete a physical fitness test and background investigation. Next, candidates will appear for a two-part interview. The first part consists of a formal panel interview. During the second part, candidates must complete a written assignment and give an oral presentation to a panel of ISP officers. Those who are still in consideration will then complete medical and psychological evaluations before moving on to training at the Illinois State Police Training Academy in Springfield.

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College Or University Must Be Accredited By One Of The Following:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

What Are The Requirements To Become A Police Officer In Chicago

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Due to the extensive responsibilities a police officer is tasked with, there are numerous requirements which need to be satisfied before youre sworn in as a member of the police force. All prospective candidates must first satisfy a list of prerequisites. If these requirements are satisfied, a candidate must then undergo training at a police academy.

An outline of the steps required to become a police officer in Chicago is as follows:

  • Meet the minimum requirements
  • Complete training at a police academy

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How Do You Measure The Sit & Reach Test

Subject sits on the floor or mat with legs extended at right angles to a taped line on a box. The heels touch the near edge of the box and are eight inches apart. The subject reaches forward in one smooth motion with both hands overlapped knuckle upon knuckle, middle finger over middle finger, as far as possible moving the slide forward. The distance reached on the scale by the fingertips in inches is recorded. The best of three trials is considered as the flexibility score.

Illinois State Police Academy Requirements

If youre 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.

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How Do You Become A Certified Police Officer In Illinois

All newly hired police officers must meet certain requirements before they are certified by the state. Each must attend 1 of 6 police training academies and complete a 480-hour basic training program and a 40-hour firearms training course as well as pass both a written test and a physical fitness test.

Law Enforcement Training Program Requirements

Police Officer Gary Hibbs, Chicago Heights Police Department, Illinois
  • Minimum 21 Years of Age
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • United States Citizenship
  • Illinois Firearms Owner Identification card
  • Valid Illinois Drivers License, not revoked or suspended
  • No felony convictions
  • Illinois Statute: 50 ILCS 705.6 No applicant will be admitted to a certified academy unless the applicant is a person of good character and has not been convicted of a felony offense or a crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of this state or any other state, which if committed in this state would be punishable as a felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
  • Under Federal Law, conviction of any offense as a result of domestic violence incident prohibits possession of a firearm, resulting in automatic ineligibility for hire as a police officer.

For more information about the Police Academy Intern Program, please contact Director Van Muschler at 618-235-2700, ext. 5396 or ext. 5265 or by e-mail at or visit the Police Academy site.

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