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Experienced (Lateral) Police Patrol Officer

City of Decatur, IL

City of Decatur, IL

Decatur, IL, USA
Posted on Monday, January 1, 2024
Job Summary

$5,000 sign-on bonus for Experienced (Lateral) Police Patrol Officers.

Illinois Certified Police Officers: Persons may apply as a lateral police officer if certified as a full-time police officer in the State of Illinois. There is no requirement for prior service length. Proof of certification as a full-time officer must be submitted at time of application.

Out-of-State Certified Police Officers: Persons may apply as a lateral police officer if certified as a full-time police officer in another state and have successfully completed a probationary period of at least six months while employed full time with a law enforcement agency in the state where they were training. Proof of certification as a full-time police officer must be submitted at time of application.

Work involves protection of life and property through the enforcement of laws and ordinances, and general police assignments including field patrol, preliminary complaint and criminal investigation, traffic control and accident investigation. Duties involve an element of personal danger and require that Police Patrol Officers act without direct supervision and exercise independent judgment in meeting emergencies.

Selection of candidates will be made according to the Civil Service laws for cities, as modified by the City Code of the City of Decatur, Illinois.

Applicants are required to complete the City of Decatur Experienced (Lateral) Police Patrol Officer application online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/decaturil/jobs/3657807/experienced-lateral-police-patrol-officer?pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs . You will be required to create a username and password with Government Jobs to create and submit an application with all requested relevant information. Incomplete applications will be rejected. Downloading your resume prefills some sections of the application.

In addition, applicants may be required to complete a written test:
Lateral applicant with at least two years of full-time police experience: The written test will be waived if the experience occurred during the five years preceding the application. Documentation to verify the experience may be requested by the City of Decatur which has sole and final discretion whether to accept the two years of experience.

Lateral applicant with less than two years of full-time police experience: The written test will be required, and applicant must attain a passing grade based off current standard in place at the time.

As an equal opportunity employer, the City of Decatur encourages all potential applicants, regardless of race, gender, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, to apply. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

The City of Decatur is a drug-free workplace, including marijuana. Candidates will be subject to a pre-employment drug screen, physical and background check post offer.

Major Duties

Example of work (typical work examples, but not limited to the following):

  1. Patrol a designated city area to preserve law and order, prevent and discover the commission of crime and to enforce traffic and other laws and ordinances.
  2. Answer calls and investigate complaints, disturbances and reported criminal activities; answer calls involving automobile accidents, robberies and related misdemeanors and felonies; perform follow-up criminal investigation work in plain clothes, as assigned.
  3. At crime scene gather evidence, obtain witnesses, make arrests; prepare investigative data and case information for prosecution; testify as witness in court.
  4. Investigate accidents; provide first aid to injured; take safeguards to prevent further accidents; interview principals and witnesses; take written statements; take necessary preventive or corrective measures.
  5. Perform traffic control duties; operate radar traffic control unit; apprehend violators and issue traffic tickets; direct traffic at intersections.
  6. Investigate family disputes, public disturbances; make arrests or resolve minor problems directly; prepare complaint and investigation reports.
  7. Perform extended criminal investigation work under the direction of a superior officer; check for business license violations; serve legal papers.
  8. Perform related work and other duties as assigned.
Knowledge & Skills


To be eligible to take part in the application process for Experienced (Lateral) Police Patrol Officer, applicants must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Applicant must not be less than 21 years of age or over 35 years of age; provided. However, in cases where an applicant has had special training or experience in police-related work, the Commission may, at its discretion, accept applicants 36 years of age or older with one year of increased age allowed for each year of actual service. The maximum of such age allowance shall be four years.
  2. Applicant must have no felony convictions. Applicant with a record of misdemeanor convictions may be disqualified from taking examinations as set forth in 65 ILCS 5/10-1-7(c).
  3. Applicant may not be prohibited by any court action and/or state or federal statute from carrying a firearm and must possess or be eligible to receive a valid Illinois Firearms Owner's Identification (FOID) card.
  4. Applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

At time of appointment, a Police Patrol Officer must be a United States citizen and must possess a valid Illinois driver's license. Prior to appointment, eligible applicants must be accepted for membership in the Decatur Police Pension Fund. Generally, applicants must also be in good health, be of good moral character and not possess an adverse police record. Applicants should possess physical strength and agility sufficient to handle aggressive situations, be able to work under adverse weather conditions, be able to think and act quickly in emergency situations and possess good general intelligence and emotional stability.

**SPECIAL NOTE** Police Patrol Officers may be required to maintain physical fitness standards throughout their careers.

Supplemental Information


  1. Written Examination: The National Testing Network (NTN) written test consists of four components: written language ability, multiple-choice writing, multiple-choice reading, and video scenarios. These four components are scored in the following three categories: video, writing and reading. The lateral applicants required to take the test must score 65.00% on video and 70.00% on writing and reading.
  2. Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report (POWER) Test: Lateral police applicants are not required to take the POWER test. An applicant certified out of state must receive a waiver from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) and pass a state of Illinois Police Officer transition course. Any out-of-state lateral officer failing to do so will be required to attend an Illinois Police Academy for certification. The POWER test will then be administrated as an entry requirement to the Police Academy. Failure to pass the POWER test at that time may result in termination of employment.
  3. Preliminary Background Investigation: A preliminary background investigation will be completed prior to the oral interview. Candidates can be eliminated based on adverse information.
  4. Oral Interview: Applicants remaining in the process will be scheduled for an oral interview and must pass to continue in the process.
  5. In-Depth Background Investigation: The position of police officer requires a great deal of public trust and carries a tremendous amount of responsibility. Applicants must complete a Police Patrol Officer Applicant Background Questionnaire and return it by the due date.
    • Candidates must be of good moral character and will be subject to a thorough background investigation, including, but not limited to, police records check, credit check, inquiries of neighbors, relatives, work history, and other references.
    • Candidates may be eliminated from the process at any time based on information obtained from the background investigation. This includes information discovered about the candidate that would reflect negatively upon the Decatur Police Department if the candidate was hired. A conviction record may be considered on a case-by-case basis and will not necessarily disqualify a candidate. However, Illinois State law precludes appointment as a police officer with any felony conviction or any disqualifying conviction as set forth in 65 ILCS 5/10-1-7(c).
    • As part of the background investigation process, applicants will be mandated to participate in a ride-along. They will be required to write a one-page synopsis of their ride-along experience. Candidates are expected to dress in business casual clothing for the ride-along. T-shirts, jeans and shorts are prohibited. Applicants that do not participate in the ride-along will be eliminated from the pre-employment process.
  6. Veteran Points: Eligible veterans may receive five veteran preference points added to their final examination score in accordance with 65 ILCS 5/10-1-16.
  7. Selection from Eligibility Register: Applicants who are placed on the eligible register will be selected by the Chief of Police.
  8. Physical, Drug Screen, and Psychological Report: Applicants selected off of the eligible register must pass a physical examination, drug screening, and psychological evaluation. Final appointment is contingent upon passing all of these components.


Police Patrol Officers shall reside within the corporate limits of Macon County, or within the corporate limits of any municipality extending into Macon County within 90 days following the completion of their probationary period. This position requires a one-year probationary period.


Lateral police patrol officers may be paid starting wages equivalent to their previous law enforcement experience, but not to exceed that of a DPD Officer with three years on the job. All salary step increases will be based on combined total of experience awarded at hiring time and number of current consecutive years of service with the police department. All other benefits allowed under the contract, including longevity pay, will be based on the actual hire date.


$67,856 starting rate

$69,561 after 6 months

$71,246 after 1 year

$76,271 after 2 years

$80,083 after 3 years

$85,712 after 4 years

$89,140 after 7 years


$102,214 starting base rate

$109,399 after 6 months


2% of base rate after 5 years

4% of base rate after 10 years

6% of base rate after 15 years

9% of base rate after 20 years

12% of base rate after 25 years


K-9 Patrol - 5% in addition to base rate & longevity

Investigations - 10% in addition to base rate & longevity

Master Patrol - 5% in addition to base rate & longevity

There is shift differential pay for hours worked between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Uniforms are provided by the City (except weapons).