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Selection Process

Selection Process

The South Bend Police Department's Applicant Process may consist of, but is not limited to, the following evaluations. These may take up to six months to complete, in the following order:

1. Physical Fitness Assessment Test

Physical fitness standards are based on the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) and the standards are the same for males and females.  Applicants must meet the standard for each exercise to pass the assessment test.  This is a PASS/FAIL test only, with no points assigned for results.

Exercises in order are:

  • Vertical Jump Test (Standard: 16 inches or greater)
  • Timed Sit Up Test (29 in one minute or less)
  • 300 Meter Run (Complete in 71 seconds or less)
  • Push Up Test (Complete 25 push ups with no time limit)
  • 1.5 Mile Run (Complete in 16:28 or less)
  • Pistol Trigger Pull Test (Complete 6 pulls in 10 seconds or less)

If all physical fitness standards are met, the applicant will be eligible to take the written exam.

2. Written Exam 

  • Created by a professional consulting firm using job-related criteria
  • Four sections: Arithmetic, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, and Incident Report Writing
  • Must score 82% or higher to continue on to interview phase

Study guides for the written test will be given out after successful completion of the physical fitness assessment. Applicants will also have the opportunity to attend voluntary study sessions that are offered.  At these study sessions, a practice test will be given, scored, and information on oral interview preparation will be discussed.

3. Personal Interview

  • This is a one-on-one interview with a member of the Training Division
  • Responses in this interview may be used for the polygraph examination, and this interview will help you to prepare for the polygraph
  • The Training Dvision makes a recommendation as to whether applicants should continue in the process on the basis of this interview

4. Structured Oral Interview

  • This is a structured interview in front of a board of civilians and sworn officers
  • Each applicant is asked the same questions and responses are graded

5. Pension Board Interview

  • This is a structured interview with the South Bend Pension Board
  • This is the final step in the hiring process


Applicant scores will be totaled to establish an eligibility list in descending order from highest to lowest passing scores.  Applicants will be notified of their final ranking on the eligibility list.

Upon an estimated projection of future vacancies, the department will extend the assessed number of "conditional" job offers to persons on the eligibility list in rank order. At that time, the following evaluations will be completed:

  • In-depth background investigation
  • Polygraph examination
  • Psychological examination and interview with clinical psychologist
  • Complete medical examination including vision, hearing, and mandatory drug screen

If all evaluations are successfully completed, the applicant will be sworn in as probationary police officer, provided the department has available vacancies.

The eligibility list will be valid for one year from the date of certification. Each year, applicant screening and testing processes for the department are conducted and a new eligibility list is established. Applicants are encouraged to reapply and repeat the testing if they wish to improve their scores and ranking. The Department’s hiring needs, and therefore the amount of the eligibility list resulting in hires, changes from year to year based on a number of variables.

For more information about the department or the selection process, contact the Training Division at (574) 235-9224 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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