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Police Officer Recruit 

Open Date 3/30/2022  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  
Bargaining / Non-Bargaining Bargaining  
Division South Bend Police Department  
Location Police  
Reports To Training Staff  
Schedule Morning 0600-1400, Afternoon 1400-2200, Midnight 2200-0600 on a 6&3 rotation.  
Pay Rate Starting Salary 2022: Recruit (During Academy) $52,560/yr. Patrolman 2nd Class (Once sworn) $57,985/yr. Patrolman 1st Class (Generally, 2nd Year) $65,576/yr. Afternoon Shift Incentive: $2,200/yr. Midnight Shift Incentive: $3,000/yr.  

The City of South Bend accepts applications for the position of Police Officer Recruit on a rolling basis.

We are looking for the best and brightest recruits to become a member of the fourth largest police department in the state.  Please take a few moments to learn more about the rewards and benefits of becoming a South Bend Police Officer. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Training Division for additional information, at (574) 235-9224.

It is the goal of the South Bend Police Department to recruit the most qualified persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability, to serve the residents of South Bend as police officers. Hiring requirements are based on job-related criteria, taking into consideration the knowledge, personal attributes, skills, and training required to perform the job tasks, so as to further the principle of equal employment opportunity.

Position Requirements


  • United States Citizen
  • Must be 21-35 years of age at time of application (or up to 40 years of age if retired military with 20 years of service and honorable discharge, in accordance with HB1359)
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Must be able to pass a competitive written exam
  • Have no felony criminal convictions 
  • Have no conviction of domestic violence or a domestic violence-related offense (either misdemeanor or felony)
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must pass mandatory drug screening
  • Have no previous use of hallucinogenic drugs (LSD, Mushrooms, Mescaline, Ecstasy, etc.)
  • Possess a valid driver's license from current state of residence
  • Military discharge (if applicable) cannot be characterized as "other than honorable", "bad conduct", or "dishonorable"
  • Must be able to pass a physical agility assessment test
  • Must submit to in-depth background investigation, polygraph, psychological testing, and medical examination

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

About the Organization South Bend is the economic, educational, media, and cultural hub of a multi-county region spanning the Michigan-Indiana border. It's the fourth-largest city in Indiana with over 100,000 residents. South Bend's flourishing collegiate community and burgeoning tech industry have built upon the foundation of the city's industrial past to create a vibrant present and a promising future. The city's 14 institutions of higher learning, including the internationally renowned University of Notre Dame, infuse South Bend with creative energy in the arts, business, and technology. Combined with recent economic growth, strong neighborhoods, an affordable cost of living, exciting recreational opportunities, and thriving arts venues make South Bend a fabulous place to live, work, and, play.

***AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni who meet the required qualifications are encouraged to apply.***  
EOE Statement EOE/ADA Statement

The City of South Bend provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application/hiring process should contact the Legal Department's ADA Compliance Officer, Michael Schmidt, at and Human Resources at to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The City of South Bend seeks to attract, develop, and retain the highest quality public safety officers, staff and administration. The City of South Bend is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented candidates and others that will enhance our community in compliance with EO No. 1-2016 Section 1. Moreover, the City of South Bend prohibits discrimination against veterans or disabled qualified individuals, and requires affirmative action by covered contractors to employ and advance veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities in compliance with 41 CFR 60-741.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-300.5(a).  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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