Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  What are the requirements to become a police officer?


Answer:  There are several mental, physical, and legal requirements to become a police officer.


Illinois law requires that applicants must be 21 years old unless they have graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Law Enforcement, in which case they may be 20 years old. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and have no felony convictions. Some misdemeanor convictions will also disqualify an applicant.  Applicants must have a valid driver license. Applicants cannot be older than 35 years old.


Applicants must first pass a POWER test (physical fitness), a written exam, an oral exam, a background check, a psychological examination, a medical exam, a credit check, a fingerprint check, and a polygraph examination. Approximately 80 percent of all applicants do not pass all of the testing requirements. All of this testing is conducted by the Lincoln Board of Police and Fire Commissioners. Applicants are then placed on a hiring list in the order of the points earned during the testing.


Applicants with previous college and/or military experience are preferred and receive extra points.


The Lincoln City Council then determines when to hire a new officer to fill a vacancy.


After hiring, brand new officers must attend and pass a 12-week Police Academy. The training includes firearms, criminal law, traffic law, first aid, emergency vehicle operation, baton and pepper spray use, and unarmed personal combat training. Cadets must pass all tests including a state-mandated exam upon completion of the academy.


Upon return to the department from the academy, probationary officers begin a field training program that lasts nine months. Probationary officers must learn local laws and local procedures and policies. Probationary officers are evaluated daily, weekly, monthly, and at the end of field training. Probationary officers may be dismissed at any time for failure to meet standards.


Upon the successful completion of the first year, officers are then sworn and certified in as full-time police officers. It still takes several years of experience, however, to make a well-rounded police officer.


Information is available on the following sites:
Logan County Current Statistics

Memorial Health System  - Includes daily statistics for MHS and a COVID-19 Risk Screening

Local Business Resources
Logan County Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



Contact Information


cityhall smallCity of Lincoln

City Hall
700 Broadway Street
Lincoln, Illinois 62656



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