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Certified Police Officer (Lateral Entry) & Police Officer (Recruit)

Sterling Police Department


Contact Information


Sterling Police Department
212 3rd Avenue
Sterling, IL 61081

Position Information

Application Deadline:

  • 09/28/20


  • Starting (Lateral Entry): $54,760.51

    At the discretion of the city, officers with previous experience who have completed basic training may be hired up to the 4th step of the salary schedule.

    As of May 1, 2020: 

    Starting (Recruit): $54,760.51

    Top Patrol Salary: $72,977.75 

      • The City of Sterling offers an excellent health plan to all full time employees.
      • A new employee will accrue 80 hours of vacation after completing one (1) year of employment.
      • Sick time is accumulated at 8 hours per month.
      • Individuals who are accepted into the pension system are eligible to retire pursuant to the benefits of 40 ILCS 5/3-111. Both the participant and the City of Sterling contribute to the pension plan.

Position Details

The Sterling Police Department is establishing a lateral entry eligibility list for qualified sworn police officers.

Candidates will need to submit a resume and application.

The Sterling Police Department's lateral entry program includes training and orientation through a field training program that can last up to 14 weeks, depending on experience. Lateral applicant candidates must meet all of the requirements for an entry level police officer.

In-State Lateral Candidate:

  • Candidate must be employed as a full-time officer with an Illinois law enforcement agency and shall be employed for a minimum of two (2) years and must possess a valid Illinois Law Enforcement Officer certificate from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. 

Out-of-State Lateral Candidate:

  • Candidate must be currently employed as full-time officer with any municipal, county or state law enforcement agency, such lateral applicant shall have been so employed for a minimum of two (2) years prior to application and shall meet the Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board "Out of State Reciprocity" requirements. 

Lateral applicant candidates must complete all testing deemed necessary by the Sterling Fire & Police Commission.

Lateral Entry Minimum Qualifications are:

  • State of Illinois certification by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) or meet the Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board "Out of State Reciprocity" requirements.
  • United States citizen or naturalized citizen.
  • Must be at least 21 years old at time of application & at time of hire.
  • Education – High School diploma or equivalent.
  • Experience – at least 2 years' experience as a full time sworn, certified law enforcement officer.
  • Valid Driver's License.
  • Certified Birth Certificate.
  • Valid Illinois Firearm Owner Identification card (F.O.I.D.) at the time of hire.
  • Must agree to comply with all requirements of the position, including providing copies of any requested employment related materials or other documents to confirm or verify information, and have the ability to pass all examination and training requirements. 

Applicants if applicable, shall furnish and military service records, including discharge papers (DD 214).

The City of Sterling or its representatives reserve the right to re-verify candidate qualifications at any time during the screening and hiring process.

Arrest Record:

  • Lateral applicant must not have any felony convictions nor have been convicted of any misdemeanors involving moral turpitude. 


  • Employees must live within a 30 minute response time from the City of Sterling within one (1) year of the date of hire. 

Hiring Process:

The hiring process may include the following at the discretion of the Board of Fire & Police Commission.

Applicants must successfully pass the following examinations:

  • Oral Examination
  • Background Investigation
  • Physical Agility Examination
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Psychological Examination
  • Medical Examination including drug screening 



Any questions may be emailed to:



The Sterling Police Department is looking for individuals who possess good personal communications skills, creativity, the ability to solve problems and deal with critical challenges, and compassion for a diverse group of people.

If you or someone you know possesses the above qualities contact us for more information on starting a rewarding career.

Sterling Police Department

212 3rd Avenue

Sterling, IL 61081


Testing Information:

Testing will be:


Sterling High School Cafeteria

1608 4th Avenue

Sterling, IL


Check in will start at 8:30 a.m. with the MANDATORY orientation starting at 9:00 a.m. The written test will follow the orientation. Please park in the 5th Avenue parking lot (north of East Lefevre). You must enter the building thru Door #8.

All testing is conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board of Fire & Police Commission, City of Sterling ordinances, and all applicable State and Federal Statutes.

The testing process to become a Sterling Police Officer has several steps:

PHYSICAL FITNESS ASSESSMENT (upon acceptance to the police academy):

This test consists of four (4) events, all of which are explained on the following pages.


A written examination will be administered by the Board of Fire & Police Commission. A score of 70% or higher is required.


Given by the Board of Fire & Police Commission.


Veteran’s preference points (5) will be applied as allowed by Illinois Compiled Statutes and the rules and regulations of the Fire & Police Commission to those veterans who qualify and apply for such points.

Points may be added for education or law enforcement certification pursuant to statute (5/10-2.1-8 & 5/10-2.1-9) at the request of the applicant.


All candidates that successfully pass the testing process are placed on an eligibility list, according to their final score, that remains in effect for two years. Appointments are then made from this list, as openings exist, contingent upon successful passage of all phases of the examination process.

What to Expect:

Once an opening exists on the department, the next eligible candidate will be contacted.


An in-depth background investigation will be conducted by the Board of Fire & Police Commission.


The candidate will be scheduled for a polygraph examination. This test must successfully be passed for further consideration.


The candidate will be scheduled for a psychological examination. This test must successfully be passed for further consideration.


The candidate will be scheduled for a physical examination. An extensive physical examination to include drug screening is required by the Board of Fire & Police Commission to determine fitness to perform the duties of a police officer. The State of Illinois also requires a physical examination for entry into the police academies.


Once hired, a new recruit officer will attend a 14 week basic training at an accredited academy. An officer must maintain a passing average at the academy AND pass the comprehensive examination given the last week of school. Failure to pass either can result in immediate termination of employment from the department. Upon completion of basic training, officers return to the department for additional training.


Upon completion of training at the academy, a recruit officer will begin a period of “on the job” training. During this period, the recruit will work with field training officers and will be taught various aspects of the job as well as be evaluated regularly.


After successful completion of the FTO program the officer begins a twelve (12) month probationary period.

General Information:

As an officer moves through his/her career there is a potential for advancement to positions such as Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and Deputy Chief. Other positions include detective, task force officer, school resource officer, youth officer. Special assignments for patrol officers include field training officer, firearms instructor, bicycle officer, defensive tactics instructor and elderly service officer.


The Sterling Police Department works twelve (12) hour shifts in the patrol division, 7:00 a.m. —7:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.—7:00 a.m. Officers will be assigned to a shift depending on department needs.


All newly appointed recruits will be provided with all necessary uniforms and equipment items needed.



Applicants shall be under 35 years of age, at the time of application and at such time as the final eligibility list is posted, unless exempt from such age limitation as provided in Section 5/10-2.1-6 of the Fire and Police Commissioner’s Act. Applicants, at such time as they file their application with this board, must be 21 years of age.


A valid driver’s license is required at the time of the appointment to the department.


A high school diploma or its equivalent is required.


Must be a resident of the State of Illinois at time of filing application. Residency in the City of Sterling is not required but residency within a 30 minute response time is required.


Must be a citizen of the United States at time of filing application.


Visual acuity must be 20/20 or correctable to 20/20. Contact lenses are permitted with the above requirements.


It is your responsibility to provide the following documents to the Fire & Police Commission. If these documents are not provided with the application by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, your application will not be accepted.

  • High School diploma or GED certificate (copy)
  • Certified Birth Certificate (copy)
  • College or University degree (copy)
  • Note: A copy of a certified transcript may be requested for application of education points.
  • Veterans: Military Service record and DD214 (copy)
  • Driver’s license (color copy of both sides)
  • Citizenship and/or naturalization papers – if applicable
  • Social security card (copy)

Positively NO deviation or exception on any requirement.

ALL documents become the property of the Sterling Fire & Police Commission.

Physical Fitness Assessment Test:

The physical fitness assessment consists of 4 basic tests.


This is a measure of the flexibility of the lower back and upper leg area. It is an important area for performing police tasks involving range of motion and is also important in minimizing lower back problems. The test involves stretching out to touch the toes or beyond with extended arms from the sitting position. The score is in the inches reached on a yard stick.  


This is a measure of the muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles. It is an important area for performing police tasks that may involve the use of force and is also an important area for maintaining good posture and minimizing lower back problems. The score is in the number of bent leg sit-ups performed in one minute.


This is a maximum weight pushed from the bench press position and measures the amount of force the upper body can generate. It is an important area for performing police tasks requiring upper body strength. The score is a ration of weight pushed divided by body weight.


This is a timed run to measure the heart and vascular systems capability to transport oxygen. It is an important area for performing police tasks involving stamina and endurance and to minimize the risk of cardiovascular problems. The score is in minutes and seconds.



Any questions may be emailed to:

Thank you for your interest in the Sterling Police Department.

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