Can YOU Answer The Call?

SBPD HIRING and TESTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What shifts do officers work?
Officers work 8 hour shifts. The working day rotation is six days on, three days off, which rotates through the calendar year. Patrol assignments are based upon the hours of 6am-2pm, 2pm-20pm, and 10pm-6am. Shift assignments are, in part, based upon seniority as openings allow.

Is specialty pay or shift differential pay given?
Specialty pay - Field Training Officers and specialty unit assignments, such as Rapid Response Team (RRT/TURF), SWAT, Crime Scene Technicians (UCST) and on call assignments recieve specialty pay.

Shift differential pay is allotted for officers who work other than daytime shifts.

If I am a certified police officer in another state, do I need to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy?
If you graduated from a police academy in another state, were certified as a police officer, and worked as a paid police officer for at least one year, you may be able to obtain a waiver of basic training. This waiver can only be applied for once you are hired as an officer in Indiana. The recommending police department would then apply on your behalf. Any person trained out-of-state who is hired by an Indiana law enforcement agency must complete a Law Enforcement Training Board-certified 40-hour Pre-basic Course before that person is empowered to make an arrest, conduct a search or seizure, or carry a handgun without a permit. Completion of a certified Pre-basic Course allows a person to function as a police officer for one year from the date of appointment, while awaiting enrollment in a full 600-hour basic training course or while completing the requirements for a waiver of basic training. Completion of the waiver process takes about three months, including a total of six non-consecutive days of exams at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Failure to complete the process before the first anniversary date as a sworn Indiana officer results in the loss of police powers.

Is the academy a live-in academy?
Yes. The academy is a 15-week academy located in Plainfield IN, in which you report to Monday through Friday. More information on the academy is found here. Applicants must meet prescribed vision, color vision, hearing, and/or other ILEA state medical standards.

What happens after I complete the academy?

After graduation, the new officer will be paired with an SBPD field training officer for 15 weeks. The FTO program rotates you through all shifts, including specialty assignments. Testing and daily evaluation takes place while you are with the FTO. Successful completion of the Field Training Program results in assignment to a permanent shift, a competitive salary, a technologically enhanced take-home squad car and numerous other benefits.

Does the South Bend Police Department hire Reserve Officers?
The South Bend Police Department does not actively hire Reserve Officers or utilize officers as a reserve basis.

Do I have to complete an application in order to test?
Yes. Testing is conducted typically three times a year on designated testing dates. You must complete an application prior to the start of the testing session to be considered for the latest testing dates. The first step of the process is the written examination.

What does the written exam consist of and how can I prepare?
The written exam consists of common sense, grammar, spelling, and report writing sections.

What score do I need to pass the written exam?
To pass the written exam, one must receive a score of 70% or better.

How long does the entire testing process take?
The testing process is lengthy and will take a minimum of 3 months to complete. Applicants in the process are retained in a "pool" of potential candidates and are tested and advanced to further testing sections as job openings and the need for candidates comes open.

How old do I have to be to take the written exam?
Applicants must be 21 years of age at the time of the written exam.

Is there an age maximum to be a police officer?
Yes. You must be under 36 years of age when appointed as a police officer by state law for PERF pension requirements.

Why do I have to be under 36 years old?
The IN state retirement "1977 Fund" was established to pay pension, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible public safety officers and their survivors. Membership in the 1977 Fund is mandatory for full-time, fully-paid police officers and firefighters who work for employers participating in the 1977 Fund and who are hired or rehired after April 30, 1977. However, to become a member of the 1977 Fund, a police officer or firefighter must: Pass the required statewide baseline physical and mental examinations; and be less than 36 years of age. As a result this will be the case for most IN police departments.


What are the basic steps in the hiring process?
Written test, Physical Agility Test, Pre-background interview, Oral Board interview, In-depth Background Investigation, Polygraph, Medical Physical, and PERF Interview

What incidents can disqualify me for consideration as a South Bend Police Officer?
Any of these incidents in your background will disqualify you from consideration as a South Bend Police officer.

1. Any felony conviction in Indiana or another violation in another state that would be a felony if committed in Indiana.
2. Marijuana illegally sold, produced, cultivated, or transported for sale.
3. Any dangerous drug or narcotic illegally sold, produced, cultivated, or transported for sale.
4. Use of any dangerous drugs or narcotics (includes steroids).
5. Use of marijuana. Experimental usage of marijuana may be permitted.
6. Conviction of or adjudged to have violated traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles with such frequency so as to indicate a disrespect for traffic law and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highway within the past (3) three years. Acceptable frequency level to be determined by Police Chief or his designee.
7. Dishonorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces.
8. Previous denial of certified status, revoked or having current certified status under suspension (Refers only to ILEA certified police officers).
9. Current abuse of prescription medications.
10. Documented evidence of Domestic Violence at any time, or a Domestic Violence conviction.
11. Documentation of any serious criminal offense.
12. Any Convictions for Operating Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVWI/OWI/DUI)

Can I participate in a ride-along with a police officer as part of my employment application?
As an applicant, you may take advantage of the South Bend Police Department Police Ride Along Program. This will allow you the opportunity to ride with a patrol officer as an observer. To do so, you must complete a brief waiver release and be approved by the training bureau or the Chief of Police. You are permitted two ride alongs once you have completed the Written and Physical Agility portions of the testing process. Contact the training bureau for more information.

FALSIFICATION, OMISSION, MISREPRESENTATION, OR DECEPTION IN ANY STAGE OF THE APPLICANT PROCESS WILL RESULT IN YOUR IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM CONSIDERATION.

The City of South Bend is an Equal Opportunity Employer.