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UPD Hiring Process

1. Complete The Application

The application to participate in the testing process is available on the City’s website.  Applications are accepted online only.  Be sure to submit an e-mail address that you frequently check, as this is how we will contact you. You will be evaluated on whether you meet the minimum qualifications. Read each question carefully. Some questions will ask you to check more than one answer, or you may be asked to explain your answer. If you do not answer the question sufficiently, your application will be held.

2. Attend the Exam

A video-based multiple-choice exam will be administered to candidates who meet the minimum qualifications for the position. The test we use is the FrontLine National™ Video Testing System for Entry Level Law Enforcement. The test will consist of three parts: a video test that will present various scenarios, a reading test and a writing test. For detailed information on the test, including how to order a practice exam, click here.

You do not need any prior law enforcement experience to do well on the test. Although law enforcement scenarios are presented, the test measures how you react to certain situations that you will likely face in this career, not police policy. Don’t rely on television shows to guide your answers—just use your common sense.

For this recruitment period, you have two testing options:
1) You may test at any location in the National Testing Network (NTN). You will need to complete both a City of Urbana employment application for this position and an application through NTN. To complete the City of Urbana application, click the orange "Apply" button on the upper-right hand side of this page. To start an application for NTN or for more information including pricing, visit: Candidate Frequently Asked Questions. We encourage applicants to delay scheduling an exam through NTN until they have received confirmation from the City of Urbana that their application has been approved. The City of Urbana does not set the cost or collect fees for test administration when administered off-site. Please check the National Testing Network website for the most recent information.


2) You may test in-person in Urbana, Illinois. Tests are scheduled periodically through the year. There is no cost to this option, but you will not be eligible for consideration until your test scores are received. Details will be provided if you are invited to test.

3. Civil Service Register

If your exam results meet or exceed the recommended score, your name will be placed on the Civil Service register for this position.  Important:  If you apply for another position at the City of Urbana later on and are invited to test, you are not already on the register—you must test for each new position!

4. Panel Interview

Candidates with the highest video test scores will be invited to the panel interviews.  Typically, the top 5 to 10 percent of candidates who attend the video exam are invited to interview with the City of Urbana. The interviews are composed of two parts: the panel interview and the Chief’s interview. See our page on Interview Tips for how to prepare for your interview with the UPD.


During the panel interview, you will interview before a group of City staff (including current members of the Urbana Police Department); if you are successful in your initial interview, you may be invited back to interview with the Chief of Police.These interviews will be conducted with current Urbana Police Officers, Command Staff, and Executive Department staff.  Professional attire is recommended for the interview.


If you receive a notice that you are on the register but not one of the top scorers, you may be invited to interview at a later date.  Keep checking your e-mail to make sure you don’t miss an invitation later on!

5. Chief's Interview

The most qualified applicants will be invited to continue to the next phase of the hiring process, which is an interview with the Chief of Police and a member of the Command Staff.  If you are not invited to the next step, you will remain on the Civil Service Register for this position and still be considered for future vacancies.

6. Conditional Offer of Employment

The top candidate selected from the Chief’s interview will receive a conditional offer of employment pending the outcome of several employment-related exams:

  1. Police Training Institute Pre-Certification POWER Test

  2. Medical exam

  3. Psychological exam—a battery of psychological tests will be administered by a licensed psychologist and used in conjunction with the personal interviews to evaluate and determine your suitability for employment.  The exams will last most of the day, so please feel free to dress comfortably.

  4. Physical agility exam

  5. Background investigation—the background packet is fairly extensive, so it may take some time to complete it fully.  You may be surprised at how in-depth it is, but this is to ensure the safety of the officers and other department staff. If there is anything you feel might be of concern, be sure to mention this to the command staff officer before the background check begins! You will also be fingerprinted as part of this process. A thorough background investigation will take anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on the time it takes to contact your references, past employers and other individuals who will be part of your background investigation.  We recommend letting them know ahead of time that they will be contacted so that they can be prepared and respond in a timely fashion to keep the process moving forward.

7. Academy and Field Training

Your training doesn’t end with completion of class work.  Once you begin with the UPD, you will attend an accredited police training facility.  Upon completion, you will be assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO), who is an experienced UPD officer selected to help train new officers.   Your FTO will help bridge your knowledge from what you have learned in a classroom setting to the real-life environment of the UPD.

For all of our applicants, we want to be a good match for your interests, skills and career goals.  If you feel, at any point in the process, that this would not be a suitable job for you, please do not hesitate to let us know. 

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