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The Madison Police Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Police Officer with an expected hire date in May, 2006. No prior law enforcement experience is required!

What are we looking for in an applicant?
The Madison Police Department is nationally recognized for its innovation and leadership in the police profession. The Department is in the forefront of such concepts as employee involvement in decision making, quality improvement, problem solving, and community-oriented policing. We are an organization where individuals can and do make a difference.

The Department wants to attract and retain men and women who reflect the diversity of our community. State law requires us to accept applications from those over 18 years of age. However, those who are successful in our hiring process usually have educational and/or life experiences possessed by more mature individuals. New training classes commonly include a number of individuals who are changing careers. The profile of a "typical" candidate hired by MPD is someone who has at least an associate's degree (60 college credits) and most have a bachelor's degree. Age range is from 22-45. Previous experience may include work in teaching, social work, business, law enforcement or a variety of other professions. We are by no means a "one size fits all" employer. . . we value the diversity of all academic, work and life experience.

We want to recruit applicants who can communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. We need individuals who can enforce the law while protecting the constitutional rights of all. The Madison Police Department seeks committed individuals who want to work with a multi-cultural citizenry in improving our quality of life.

What are the minimum qualifications for becoming a Madison Police Officer?
In order to become a City of Madison Police Officer, you must:

a. Be a United States citizen by date of appointment.
b. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of appointment.
c. Be a high school graduate or possess a G.E.D. High School Equivalency Diploma.
d. Possess a current driver's license and be eligible for a Wisconsin driver's license.
e. Have binocular vision which is correctable to 20/20. Must have normal peripheral vision and must not have a significant eye disease.
f. Not be color blind. (Mild forms of color impairment may be acceptable.)
g. Not have been convicted of a felony, which substantially relates to the work of a Police Officer unless pardoned by the Governor of the State.
h. Not have a conviction record or pending charge which substantially relates to the work of a Police Officer.

In addition, any new officer who does not possess a two-year associate degree or sixty credits from a accredited college at time of hire must meet this standard after five years of employment. A waiver of up to 30 credits upon documentation of experience may be possible.

What is the salary? And what are the benefits?
The starting salary for a beginning police officer as of July, 2005 is $36,757 annually with a raise after six months to $41,688. Some of the other benefits are:

a. City-paid State of Wisconsin Retirement Plan.
b. City-paid Health Insurance.
c. Wage, life, and disability insurance plans.
d. Thirty-seven and one-half (37 1/2) hour work week.
e. Educational incentive pay plan after forty-two (42) months of continuous service.

The educational incentive pay plan is particularly noteworthy. After 42 months of continuous service, your base salary will increase relative to the amount of education attained. For example, an associate's degree will realize a pay increase of 9%; putting your base pay at $49,375. For a bachelor's degree, a pay increase of 18% ($53,453) and for a master's degree a pay increase of 22% ($55,269). The aforementioned base pay does not include briefing time, shift differential or other routine overtime (i.e. court).

What kind of training is provided?
Our Academy usually runs from 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. It is not residentially based; at the end of the workday, recruits go to their own homes - - not a barracks or dormitory. The tone of our Academy endeavors to treat all of our recruits as continuing adult learners. Those ultimately hired will receive extensive training in such areas as law, crisis intervention, firearms, and use of community resources. This initial training lasts seven months, and is one of the most comprehensive in the country. It is conducted in Madison under the direct supervision of the Madison Police Department Training Staff. It is not unusual for our newly-hired officers to have widely varying technical and non-technical skills. Our goal is to provide a base of training which builds on each individual's unique body of knowledge and expertise. As a recruit in training, full salary and benefits apply. *Note: MPD does not provide an exemption from the pre-service academy for officers interested in lateral employment to our department. Everyone hired, regardless of certification, must participate in our academy.

What happens after completion of initial training?
After the Academy, the new officers are initially assigned to Patrol Services as Probationary Police Officers and are responsible for general patrol duties within assigned sectors and as backup for other officers when needed.

Are there promotions or other jobs within the department?
Officers are now able to write for promotion after four years of service. There are also a variety of positions in the Department which officers may apply for after three years. Some of these are full-time positions while others develop special expertise to be utilized in specific situations. These include such areas as safety education officers, neighborhood officers, educational resource officers, traffic enforcement safety team, emergency response team (E.R.T.) and community policing teams.

Exactly what is the hiring process?
The process is as follows:

a. It is very important to make certain the entire application is filled out accurately and completely. This form will represent you during the entire selection process. Put N/A where something does not apply to you.
b. Following a review of your application, you will be invited to take a written exam and a physical agility assessment. The written exam measures reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, similar to those you have probably taken in school. There is also a short essay required. These tests will not assess your knowledge of police procedure. The essay is reviewed in order to evaluate your ability to organize and compose your thoughts. The protocols for the physical agility assessment are outlined below.
c. Upon successful completion of the written and physical assessments the results will be evaluated in conjunction with the preliminary application. The review will be conducted by an internal panel using criteria approved by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners (PFC). This panel will select a group of applicants to continue to the oral board component of the hiring process.
d. Remaining applicants will appear for an oral interview with a panel approved by the PFC.
e. An investigation into the background of remaining candidates will be completed by the Madison Police Department. Applicants are advised to be very accurate when completing the application form. Any falsification or misrepresentation may be cause for rejection. An eligibility list will be established by the PFC at the completion of the background process.
f. The remaining candidates will have a personal interview with the Chief of Police, a ride-along with a Field Training Officer, and a personality assessment.
g. A conditional job offer will be made to those selected. Upon acceptance, a comprehensive medical examination will be done at City expense. Once a candidate has been medically cleared, the candidate will be provided a "final" job offer and letter wherein the candidate agrees to accept the job and pledges to withdraw from any other hiring process.
h. The Chief will recommend a panel of applicants to the PFC for approval as probationary officers.

For those applicants who live a considerable distance (more than a six hour drive) from Madison, we have made arrangements to consolidate certain components of the process. It is our hope that this will defray at least some of your time and expenses. CONSOLIDATED TESTING WILL TENTATIVELY TAKE PLACE IN SEPTEMBER, 2005 AND AGAIN IN JANUARY, 2006. Please visit our website for more details on consolidated testing for "distant" candidates.

What is the physical agility exam?
Standards a. through d. as listed below are minimums established by the PFC that must be met. Superior performance in all these areas will be considered as an overall factor in our competitive process.

a. Abdominal Strength: Twenty-five (25) sit-ups in one (1) minute, performed while sitting on the floor, legs secured, knees bent, hands folded across the chest with the torso reaching at least a 90 degree angle with the floor.
b. Flexibility: One (1) sit-and-reach; a toe-touching test performed (for three seconds) from the sitting position, the legs will be straight.
c. Cardio-Vascular Endurance: One and one-half (1 1/2) miles in no more than fourteen minutes, thirty seconds (14:30) running and/or walking on an indoor track.
d. Upper Body Strength: Bench press one-half of your body weight to a locked-elbow position from the chest, fifteen (15) times in one (1) minute.

How do I apply?
Applications may be picked up in person at Room GR28 of the Madison Police Department. You may access our application at the following website: Finally, you may receive an application by mail, call (608) 266-4190 or writing to: Madison Police Department, Attn: Recruitment, 211 South Carroll Street, Madison, WI 53703-3303

What if I have questions which are not addressed here?
If you are interested in the Madison Police Department, we encourage you to gain more information by discussing career opportunities with members of our training staff between 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday or you may write to them at the above address. The City of Madison Police Department web page may also be accessed at: or questions may be directed to:

Sergeant Mike Koval (608) 266-4190
Deb Slawek (608) 266-4190
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