Because police officers hold vital positions in the community that require the trust of all our citizens and visitors, the selection process for becoming a Decatur police officer is lengthy and comprehensive. The process consists of several stages, including a physical agility and abilities test, a written exam, a background investigation, an interview, a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, a medical and physical examination, and a drug screening.
Police Academy graduates start out as patrol officers, but will have opportunities for advancement.
As you can imagine, there are many different personalities on a police force of more than 130 people. There are, however, a few talents and abilities that we share that make a good police officer.
Outstanding communication skills, good decision-making skills, and strong problem-solving skills are a few of the most important ones. Every day, this job is about communicating. We meet people in crisis and being able to help them by listening and working with them to solve a problem is a major part of what a police officer does. Report writing skills are important to recording the facts about an event as well.
The police department is a team and successful candidates need to be able to work well with others. At the same time, an officer must be able to work well with minimum supervision. We put a major emphasis on training in order to insure our officers are prepared for the challenges they will face.
Our officers are motivated to serve the public and have a sense of compassion. We work hard to keep the bad guys off the streets, and we help build community in every neighborhood to keep Decatur safe for all our citizens and visitors.