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How To Become a Chicago Police Officer? – Ultimate Assessment Guide & Tips

Last Updated on May 2, 2022

Police officers are one of the most important civil servants needed in our society and city. Becoming a police officer then requires passing and excelling in a few tests, so the quality of active Chicago police officers remains high. Below is helpful information and resources related to the testing, training and hiring processes of the Chicago Police Department.

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The Exam and Test Process

What are the Minimum Requirements for the Test?

  • Applicants must be 20 years old to take the police test
  • Applicants must be 21 years old by the time of entering the Police Academy and by the time of hiring as a police officer
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license from the State of Illinois
  • Applicants must be a US citizen or legal resident at the time of hiring
  • Applicants must have college credits or one of the following experiences that have shaped them into critical thinkers.
  • Applicants have at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university. OR
  • You have to have served at least three (3) continuous years (36 months) on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States; OR
  • You have completed at least 30 semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university AND have served at least 1 year on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States OR
  • At least two 2 years of full-time employment as a peace officer, OR
  • At least 3 years of full-time employment as a correctional officer within the last 4 years, OR
  • At least three 3 years of full-time employment as a detention officer within the last 4 years, OR
  • At least 3 years of full-time employment working in the public or community in one of the following fields: social services, health care services, and/or education
  • What will the police testing process be?

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What is the Structure of the Police Testing?

Below are the pre employment procedures each potential Chicago police officer will go through. Each step in the testing process is an opportunity to showcase valuable traits you will need to have as an active duty officer.

Chicago Police Testing includes:

  • Written Test
  • Pre-POWER Test (Pre-Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report Test)
  • Background investigation
  • Medical examination
  • Psychological examination
  • Drug screen
  • Final Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report (POWER) Test
  • For more on the POWER test, click here

Here are some things to consider before taking the tests:

The Police Department needs good communicators who can clearly respond on radio-comms, write concise reports and case files as well as speak appropriately and professionally with civilians and criminals

Police officers need to be effective problem solvers, through stressful and sterile circumstances, officers need to respond in calm and controlled actions. Throughout the testing process you will need to solve problems that will occur in the field, this is a great opportunity to show how valuable you might be as an officer.

a female police officer talking to a man

How Can You Apply for a Job in the Chicago Police Department?

You will need to apply on the site below. Create an account and then apply online through the instructed process. To know more click here.

What Type of Questions Are Asked in Exams?

For the Written Test you will be asked to deduce information from a written text provided. The testing is of your comprehension in Verbal Reasoning, Reading, Understanding, and Interpreting Written Material.

You will also be tested on your problem solving abilities and responses to certain situations. No matter the question, remember ‘What Would a Professional Chicago Police Officer Do?’

The Background check, Psychological exam and Drug tests will test your history and present commitment to the Police Department.

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Preparation Tips and Resources

For more on precise questions and answer techniques, we recommend taking practice tests and instructions from JobTestPrep (access here).

Police in Chicago

Final Thoughts

The Chicago Police Department is one of the most respected departments in the country and the world. Each officer is expected to bring and create enormous pride for their community they vow to protect.

Candidates who are successful during the selection process will have a well paying job with many federal benefits and their contribution to the department and their communities will be invaluable.The Chicago Police Department hire capable, clever and controlled officers, do you have what it takes?

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