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Testing in Illinois

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Jpd_new_max50

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Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Here are some tips on getting hired in Illinois.  This is what I can offer as a past candidate who did this twice and got hired both times; once as a a newbie and the other as a certified Officer testing again.


1. Education/Military:  You can boost your resume, and chances on getting hired, with a college degree or Military experience.  A college degree with an emphasis on Criminal Justice studies is preferred, and sometimes required, by many Departments and Agencies.  Western Illinois grads will have a huge step up because of their CJ program (top 2 in the Country).  While in college, try to do an internship with a PD.  This helps to expose oneself to the aspects of LE work.  Even if you don't want to be a Patrol Officer, it's a great way to learn about the job and give you invaluable experience for other type LE work.  It also helps, once you get hired, for promotional advancement.  Military experience is also a great plus.  Not only does it give you preference points on an eligibility list, but the para-military style of Departments will make it easier for you to adjust to Police work.  A lot of Agencies prefer former Military because of their "built-in" respect for authority.  Weapons training and tactics is a plus too, but not as important.


2. Testing:  Start looking everywhere for places that are testing.  On-line, newspapers, friends, relatives, etc.  Get those applications in on time and follow through with the testing!  I made copies of a completed application, because most of them are the same and ask the same questions.  Be honest answering on your applications, because you may be questioned on anything on there.  Firings from past jobs, bankruptcies, and past arrests or tickets will be looked at.  Remember....black ink when filling out apps!  Follow through with all aspects of the testing: application, orientation, physical agility testing, written test, and interview.  These are the first things that will start your career in LE work.  Stay in shape.  You don't have to look like some bodybuilder, but concentrate on cardio.  Strength can always be built up.  Start now, not just for a future in LE, but for your own health.  Don't worry about training with firearms right now, you will be doing enough of that in the Academy.  Most written tests work your compentancy with reading, writing, and common sense.  Sometimes psycological comes into play with these tests.  The interview is usually made up of Police and Fire Commissioners or a group of hired test evaluators (i.e. Chiefs and other Administrators from other towns).  Try to answer honestly and to the best of your abilities.  Don't ramble to fill time.  Try to add in your accomplishments that you have done (work, school, community).  Try to learn a little bit about the town you are testing for.


3.  The 'List":  Once you have finished all that, you will more than likely put on an eligibility list.  Most lists are good for 2 years or more.  Finishing number one still does not guarantee you a job.  This is where you Military guys and gals get a bump.  By law, you are awarded preference points for your service.  Some towns give points for being a resident of that town, college degrees, previous LE experience.  Once all the shuffling goes on the final list will be posted.  A Department may not even take anyone from that list and it will expire.  You then will have to do it all over again.  This is why it is important to test with numerous places and not get stuck with one place.  Larger Agencies like Chicago PD, Illinois State Police, and the Cook County Sheriff's have large pools that they tell you you are "qualified."  Then it's, "Don't call us, we'll call you."  I waited 5 years before Chicago called me to start processing (by that time I was already working for someone).  Don't be discouraged, but be aware you may be called at anytime to start the second half of the testing.  This testing will consist of the following: In-depth psycological exam, polygraph testing, a Detective will start doing your background (following up on your application references, talking to your neighbors and past work places), and finally a complete physical examination and drug testing.


4.  While You're Waiting:  Stay in school and keep learning.  This goes for you Military people too.  Keep in shape, cause you may get that unexpected phone call or letter.  If you're working, keep doing what your doing.  Don't burn bridges because it could come back to haunt you.  Try to stay at one employer because it shows stability. 


5.  Conditional Employment Offer:  Congrats, you almost finally made it.  Once hired you will be a probationary employee for a time period (1 to 2 years).  You are an "at will" employee and can be terminated without justification (and no Union backing).  You will come down to the station or where ever and fill out numerous forms.  You will be sent to one the Academies in the State.  You must be employed by an Agency or Department to attend.  It's not like other States where you can put yourself through.  Prior to attending, you must pass the State's POWER Test.  There are State standards that also be must be passed.  You must pass the State firearms qulification and pass the State exam.  If you are hired by a Sheriff's Office, you will more than likely working in the jail for at least a year before being a "Road Cop."  You must now survive Field Training which could last for months.  You are evaluated for work as an Officer and could be terminated there.  In 8 years as an FTO, I have seen 8 people washed out by the FTO program at our PD.  I seen others canned during their probation period.


Hopefully this will give you newbies an idea of how the hiring process goes.  I can't give you the process of how to become a Correctional Officer cause I never did that.  I'm sure it's similar.  Just note that this is how a lot of places work, but not all.  Good luck and good hunting.


 


Pete


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Thanks for posting this Pete, its really helpful.

Large_security_enforcement_officer_badge_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

I took the written test, psych eval, and oral interviews for Rockton, Illinois, and ended up #11 on the list of 20something. I did not get invited to take the physical exam at that time. Now, many months later, they are completing my background investigation (which I though they didn't do until they actually consider hiring you) along with 4 other candidates. Does this mean I should expect physical testing at any time, or is this standard in Illinois to save time with those on the eligibility list? There is one position currently open. I'm from Wisconsin and agencies here do things a bit differently, at least the ones I've applied to.


In God we trust...all others we run through NCIC

Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

SEO says ...



I took the written test, psych eval, and oral interviews for Rockton, Illinois, and ended up #11 on the list of 20something. I did not get invited to take the physical exam at that time. Now, many months later, they are completing my background investigation (which I though they didn't do until they actually consider hiring you) along with 4 other candidates. Does this mean I should expect physical testing at any time, or is this standard in Illinois to save time with those on the eligibility list? There is one position currently open. I'm from Wisconsin and agencies here do things a bit differently, at least the ones I've applied to.



The physical exam will probably consist of the Illinois POWER Test http://www.ptb.state.il.us/pdf/POWER.pdf.  Make sure you are able to pass this.  Regardless of what Rockton wants you to do for the physical agility, you will still need to pass the POWER Test to get into a State Academy.  You may be asked to go to a certified evaluator to take this test if this was not part of you initial testing. 


A lot of places will not run through the whole testing process due to the costs.  They may be just "prepping" the next 5 on the list for possible hire standby.  It's promising if they are starting backgrounds.  They are at least considering hiring you.  Someone higher up (Chief) had to have something going on to get this started.  Good luck.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

The Power Test is a piece of cake, look at what Batavia is throwing at you..............


http://www.cityofbatavia.net/content/articlefiles/5280-Employment_Application_Packet2.pdf


It starts on page 11.

Iceland_5

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

That's funny 'cause I can't see Batavia PD really needing to do all of that work, and when you get to the academy you still have to do the state POWER test.  If I were you I would still keep working on the real POWER test so when you do have to take it, you will be ready.

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wiuleja58 says ...



That's funny 'cause I can't see Batavia PD really needing to do all of that work, and when you get to the academy you still have to do the state POWER test.  If I were you I would still keep working on the real POWER test so when you do have to take it, you will be ready.



What do you mean by the "real" POWER Test?


Is the Illinois State Power Test different from the one we take for departments?


Either way it wouldn't be a problem for me though, "failure" is not part of my vocabulary..........LOL

Thumbnailca6a2828_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

I think what he means is the physical agility test or obstical course that some departments still do. When u go to PTI you have to do the power test (sit-reach, sit-ups, bench press, 1.5 mile run) They are different tests. Some departments do the obstical course and before they send you to PTI make u do the Power test. I will agre to keep up your Power test standards because you have to pass it to get into PTI.


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Iceland_5

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

miarylan2k says ...



I think what he means is the physical agility test or obstical course that some departments still do. When u go to PTI you have to do the power test (sit-reach, sit-ups, bench press, 1.5 mile run) They are different tests. Some departments do the obstical course and before they send you to PTI make u do the Power test. I will agre to keep up your Power test standards because you have to pass it to get into PTI.



You are right on target with what I was thinking, sorry if there was any confussion on my part.  When I was testing there were plenty of people that failed the POWER because they only focused on just one portion of the test.  When I was down at PTI there were only 3 people that were sent home, from my class, because they failed the POWER.  At PTI we were to be there on sunday and did not take the test until Mon. if you failed then you were able to re-test on wed. if you failed the re-test you were sent home.  So if you do get past the POWER and keep on with the physical fitness cause you don't want to go through the whole process and then fail the POWER at the academy and possibly loose your job because you failed the test.

Jpd_new_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

There were some places that would hold on to their recruit, even if they failed the POWER test.  They would work with that person until the next open Academy slot.  Nowadays, with the economy the way it is, they would just move on to the next person on the list.  This is why it's important to nail the test when it comes up the first time.


Some places will send their recruits to separate sites (like NIPSTA), prior to the Academy, to pre-certify on the POWER test.  This way the Department doesn't get stuck with a recruit at the Academy who can't pass the test. 


When I was doing this test (and even now for my SWAT team's physical agility testing), the worst part of the test for me was the sit and reach.  I'm not flexible (still ain't).  I used the training methods on stretching, listed on the guide, to get me ready for the test.  It does work.  I recomend to any one testing to read through the guide and train for this.  http://www.ptb.state.il.us/pdf/POWER.pdf


 


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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wiuleja58 says ...



miarylan2k says ...



I think what he means is the physical agility test or obstical course that some departments still do. When u go to PTI you have to do the power test (sit-reach, sit-ups, bench press, 1.5 mile run) They are different tests. Some departments do the obstical course and before they send you to PTI make u do the Power test. I will agre to keep up your Power test standards because you have to pass it to get into PTI.



You are right on target with what I was thinking, sorry if there was any confussion on my part.  When I was testing there were plenty of people that failed the POWER because they only focused on just one portion of the test.  When I was down at PTI there were only 3 people that were sent home, from my class, because they failed the POWER.  At PTI we were to be there on sunday and did not take the test until Mon. if you failed then you were able to re-test on wed. if you failed the re-test you were sent home.  So if you do get past the POWER and keep on with the physical fitness cause you don't want to go through the whole process and then fail the POWER at the academy and possibly loose your job because you failed the test.



Okay, well thanks for clearing that up then. Although yeah, it amazes me that people get so far to the point where they actually get to the Academy while passing everything else and NEVER bother to keep themselves in shape since they think they can do it again with no problem later down the road. Nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure without even realizing it..................

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Gotta really want it!


I brought an extra can of whoop ass just in case!

Jpd_new_max50

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Bump


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

PL Mentoring Team Member

Police-car_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

I have two test coming up this month.  I have been training hard for awhile now, I hope it all pays off.  I have taken your advice Pete. 

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

I have gone broke in the last couple of months and haven't really had the time to apply anywhere lately. Although I seriously got to get back in the game of things. Currently I look forward in applying at Oak Brook, Itasca, West Chicago, and Des Plaines. Soon enough, all these written exams have to lead some where............

Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Follow through with the testing!  Completeing it is the only way you will get on.  I see too many people saying they took the test, but didn't follow up with all the requirements.  They would have made it on a Department if they did.  Good luck to all.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

bump


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

PL Mentoring Team Member

27447_1032697794_7359_n_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

If only I was 20 years old :(


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

Bump


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Bump..again


 


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

PL Mentoring Team Member

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

We need this forum to come alive again


"One definition of hell is when the person you are now meets the person you could have become."

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Illinois power test


 


www.ptb.state.il.us/pdf/POWER.pdf

Help_me_lady_j_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thank you for starting this thread, I found it very helpful and enlightening. I also want to thank you for focusing on Illinois requirments, as I have had a hard time trying to find information that was state based and not national on this site. This will really help as I prepare for application process and it takes a lot of the scary out of it by giving a clearer understaning of what I need to accomplish if I want to earn my badge. While I was aware of the POWERtest and have been preparing for it, it never occured to me that it might be common that someone who wanted to be an officer would not work to be prepared for it. Seems like a waste of time not to be ready when asked to perform.


Anyway, like I said, thankx for all of the great advice, it helped to take some of the stress out of the process and makes it feel more manageable. V.


V:... for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V. " V for Vendetta" 2005

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici. By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

Just came across your thread here and had a question for you.  I am on currently number one on Rock Island Police Department's list before military points.  I'm in front by almost a full point after the physical, written, and interview have been factored and I was wondering how much military points will play a part in all this.  Can I expect to still be number one or should I expect to drop a few places?  Thanks!

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

It really depends on how far apart each candidate is spaced point wise, and who under you has Military points.  Usually on lists the scores are very close by even a tenth of a point.  I would expect a few to have Military points like I do that will push them ahead of you, but you can't be fully sure till you get the final list.  I'd say if the 10 people under you don't have Military points you could be in the clear (depending upon again, how many people are on the list and how close the scores are).


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

 Good read, thanks for sharing Pete.