Hiring Process

The hiring process for a police officer in Ankeny takes approximately six months from the time of application. You must meet requirements / pass each step in order to move on.

Following the Civil Service tests, the Civil Service Commission will certify a list of the top 40 candidates as eligible for hire. Ranking will be determined by combining the POST test score with education/experience points earned from the supplemental questions you answered as a part of the application process. Only those candidates certified by the Commission will advance to the next step of the hiring process. Learn more about the process below.

The Ankeny Police Department is hiring now!

1. Apply Online

2. Civil Service Testing

  • Cooper Physical Agility Test
    • The physical agility test includes
      • Sit-ups
      • Push-ups
      • One-and-a-half-mile run
    • Physical fitness performance requirements are included in this chart (PDF). The agility test is a pass / fail exam; you must pass all four sections.
    • If you have taken the physical agility test within the last six months prior to our testing date, you may have the testing agency submit that data to Human Resources by fax at 515-965-6408 or email in lieu of testing again. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy requires the Cooper Physical Agility Test. Failure to pass this test will result in elimination from the hiring process.
  • Written exam - National Police Officer Selection Test (POST)
    • The POST test is a 75-minute timed test in four sections; mathematics, reading comprehension, grammar, and incident report writing. The minimum passing score for the Ankeny Police Department is 80% on each of the four sections of this exam. Candidates who have previously taken the POST test and have a valid test score on file (greater than 80% on each section within one year from the testing date) with Standard and Associates may elect to waive the exam and use their most recent test score, or may elect to retest with the City of Ankeny; however, the City will accept only the retest score. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy requires the POST test. Failure to pass this test with a score of 80% or above will result in elimination from the hiring process.

3. Oral Board Interviews

Upon your successful completion of the prior steps, you will be eligible for an oral board interview.

  • The panel interview will likely consist of a city human resources representative and at least two management level personnel from the police department.
  • The interview is comprised of questions relating to law enforcement. A prepared applicant should be able to reason through most questions based on reflection of the career choice and general life experiences.
  • The panel grades the responses and those who achieve a score of 70% of the total points will receive a passing score and be maintained on the list for future consideration.
  • Those who do not achieve the minimum score will be removed from consideration but may be eligible to reapply in upcoming testing opportunities.

4. Background Investigation

The Ankeny Police Department will conduct an extensive investigation of your background. The detective will contact prior employers, relatives, and references. Information provided during these contacts may result in other individuals being contacted.

Your employment history, credit status, driving record, and other pertinent information will all be examined. A criminal history check will also be made.

5. Polygraph Exam

As part of the background process, you will be scheduled for a polygraph examination where you will be tested in several different background areas. In addition, you will be asked to determine if you were honest with the background detective, truthful on your application, undetected criminal involvement, traffic history, illicit drug use, illegal gambling habits, and any other pertinent information discovered or revealed during the background investigation, including employment and military history.

6. Psychological Evaluation

Each candidate is required to undergo a psychological exam to ensure that they possess the important personality traits needed to become an effective police officer.

7. Medical Evaluation

As part of the hiring process, each candidate will be required to undergo a complete medical evaluation including a physical capacity profile, including the following basic testing:

  • Vision, height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
  • Treadmill test
  • Complete lab workup
  • Drug screen

The physical capacity profile test will measure the individual's fitness level based on a 5-point scale to ensure they are physically fit to perform the duties of the job.

8. Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)

Initial basic training will be conducted in Johnston, IA (about 10 minute's drive from Ankeny). This is a 15-week program that builds the foundation of law enforcement principles including:

  • Law
  • Building searches
  • Traffic stops
  • Mental health
  • Accident investigations
  • Criminal investigations
  • And more

In addition to the educational components listed above, there is also a fitness component. Recruits will be tested regularly and must meet not only the academic standard but a fitness standard as well. The recruit will be housed during the week in dorm-style living quarters but is free to go home on the weekends.

9. Field Training

After graduation from ILEA, you would be placed in the department's field training program. This is a 14 to 15-week standardized program broken down into three phases. New officers will learn specifically how to become refined and more effective police officers. During this process, you will be challenged and evaluated by a field training officer who has received specialized education to train new officers and evaluate their progress. Once you successfully pass all phases you will be released to solo patrol.