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The percentile wage estimate below is the value of a wage below which certain percent of workers fall. Data collected from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)
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All peace officers in Iowa must be certified through completion of a training program at an approved training facility but only recruits already hired may attend an academy. Therefore, the first step to becoming a police officer in Iowa is finding a job and meeting state-mandated minimum standards that qualify you to be hired.
Iowa requires that all police officers in the state be a U.S. citizen and resident of the state or have intention to become a resident once employed. The minimum age to be hired by a police agency in Iowa is 18, and the individual must hold a valid Iowa driver’s license. The minimum education requirement in Iowa is a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
Additionally, candidates must not be addicted to drugs or alcohol and undergo a background investigation, including fingerprint search of local, state and national fingerprint files. The background check is to verify the individual is of good moral character and has not been convicted of a felony.
Candidates also have to meet some physical standards prior to appointment. Vision must be no worse than 20/100 uncorrected in both eyes and 20/20 corrected and color vision “consistent with the occupational demands of law enforcement.” Hearing must be normal in each ear, and the use of hearing aids are permitted. A medical examination by a physician will be conducted to ensure that physical requirements are met.
Candidates also will have to pass a physical fitness test, with different standards for male and female candidates. The test will consist of sit and reach, sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run. Male candidates must achieve 16.5 inches, perform 38 sit-ups and 29 push-ups in one minute, and complete the 1.5 mile run in 12 minutes, 51 seconds.
Females must sit and reach 19.3 inches, and in one minute perform 21 sit-ups and 15 push-ups. Women have 15 minutes and 26 seconds to complete the 1.5 mile run. If you have no idea how to best train for the fitness test, download our Law Enforcement Specific Workout Program for guidance.
All municipal police officer recruits will receive training and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, except candidate for Cedar Rapids. The city has its own academy, the Cedar Rapids Police Academy.
Since successful completion of the basic training course at an approved academy is a requirement to become a police officer in Iowa, and since only individuals already hired by a police agency can attend an approved academy, it follows that prospective officers need to contact local police agencies and go through their respective hiring processes.
Once hired, the agency will sponsor your attendance at the 14-week basic training course. You can find more information about ILEA at www.ileatraining.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/107/MenuGroup/Home.htm
According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of Iowa makes between $43,400 – $48,120 per year. However the data collected by BLS is not very accurate since it does not include overtime pay or off duty details. These two factors, if included in the data, would have increased the average salary of a police officer in Indiana.
There are several law enforcement job openings in Iowa. Simply visit our Job Opening Webpage or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment.
The primary mission of the Iowa State Patrol is safety and service to the motoring public. Troopers routinely patrol the state’s 112,770 miles of highways, including the interstates, primary, and secondary highways to fulfill this mission.
With an authorized strength of 439 sworn officers (subject to change), emphasis is placed on enforcement of motor vehicle laws. The State Patrol has state-wide enforcement authority, and therefore may be called to assist during major incidents or occurrences in Iowa – such as prison riots, labor disputes, natural disasters such as tornadoes, and flooding.
In addition to the routine duties associated with its mission of safety and service to the motoring public on the roads and highways of Iowa, the Patrol has developed several specialized areas:
Responding to the need for improved communication and more flexible programming, the Patrol has begun the conversion to a PC LAN (Local Area Network) system. All of the State Patrol headquarters have been converted to the PC-based system which will enable interdepartmental transfer of documents and data via the Department’s Wide Area Network system to all divisions of the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
As an additional safety advancement, vehicle directional warning lights have been installed on all of the Patrol’s marked vehicles. These light bars provide a safer means of passing hazards along Iowa’s roadways by guiding drivers into non-congested lanes.
The division began utilizing a computerized driving simulator, A.M.O.S. (Advanced Mobile Operations Simulator). This equipment is capable of simulating many different driving situations and weather conditions. It is used at the Department’s Basic Academy as well as well as at annual in-service training for Patrol officers.
The Iowa State Patrol has implemented the use of in-car video recorders in Patrol vehicles. The recorders have proven to be valuable tools in the documenting evidence used in court proceedings, ensuring officer safety, and training of officers.
Accident Location Analysis System
ALAS was developed to assist law enforcement in determining where resources should be directed and includes accident information from state troopers, sheriffs and police departments. Officers retrieve information by location or jurisdiction. The Patrol is currently utilizing ALAS information at the division’s headquarters as well as in one of it district offices.
The Iowa State Patrol participates in the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program along with 48 other states under the guidelines of the Federal Highway Safety Administration. Since its inception in May 1992, troopers have received training in level 3 inspections along with their routine assignments.
driver license check
log book inspection
medical record inspection
moving traffic violations
Technical Accident Investigation Unit
While all officers of the Iowa State Patrol receive training in the area of advanced accident investigation, there are selected troopers and supervisors in the division who have received extensive training in technical accident investigations – covering such areas as field sketches, scale diagrams, evidence evaluation, mathematical computation, vehicle examination, and seat belt examination. Some troopers have also received additional training to become certified accident reconstructionists. Technical Accident Investigators and Reconstructionists are called upon to conduct expert investigations of traffic crashes involving serious personal injury or death.
Drug interdiction continues to play an important role on Iowa’s highway system. In recent years, the Iowa State Patrol has experienced increases in the numbers of narcotics arrests recorded.
The Patrol’s canine unit assists in the areas of narcotics detection, officer protection, and building searches. The canine unit includes Belgian Malinois, German Shepards, and Dutch Shepards. Each canine is assigned to a specific trooper, and the dog and handler each receive extensive training. The assigned trooper is also responsible for the canine’s continued training and maintenance.
With the idea that education can lead to prevention, the State Patrol’s Safety Education Officers annually present several thousand programs to more than a quarter of a million individuals on different topics.
One program developed by the Iowa State Patrol is “Traveling Alone.” This program was presented at the Uniformed Safety Education Officers Workshop, where it received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Achievement in Safety Education. Brochures for this program have been distirbuted to tourism booths located at Iowa Welcome Centers to aid travelers.
In addition to their regular duties, Safety Education Officers also participate at Sports and Vactions shows, Boy’s State, RAGBRAI, the Iowa State Fair, and numerous health and county fairs. They also work with and support federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with safety education efforts.
The State Patrol D.A.R.E. Officers provide instruction in communities with 15,000 or fewer people, who do not have local resources to conduct the program. Some Patrol D.A.R.E. officers are mentors in the program, enabling them to provide instruction to other peace officers at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. In addition, the Patrol has an officer trained as a D.A.R.E. facilitator.
Iowa State Patrol D.A.R.E. officers participate and/or instruct at the following activities:
Twin Lakes Youth Camp
D.A.R.E. Officers Training School
D.A.R.E. Curriculum Recertification School
Iowa D.A.R.E. Conference
Midwest Region D.A.R.E. Conference
Local events statewide
The Iowa State Patrol continues to emphasize the importance of reducing alcohol-related accidents. Emphasis is directed to those drunken and drugged drivers on Iowa’s roadways. Enforcement, education and specialized training are part of the Patrol’s efforts to identify and remove the impaired driver from the highways. Recently, there has been a reduction in alcohol related fatalities. During this same time, the State Patrol has increased its number of OWI arrests.
Alcohol Law Enforcement/Retailer Training (A.L.E.R.T.) is designed to reduce alcohol consumption by individuals under the age of 21. Initially developed to help in reducing sales of alcohol by retail establishments to underage persons, the ALERT program is now in its sixth year and utilized in all fourteen Patrol districts.
Iowa law requires the use of seat belts by drivers and front-seat passengers and the use of approved child restraints for children three and under. Iowa is one of only nine states which provide for primary enforcement of occupant restraint laws. The State Patrol places continued emphasis on seat belt and child restraint compliance by motorists. Iowa ranks in the top ten states nationally with a seat belt compliance rate of 73 per cent.
The State Patrol Airwing has implemented the use of an airborne Foward Looking Infrared (FLIR) device. The FLIR provides law enforcement the ability to see in total darkness. The Patrol uses the FLIR for incidents involving fugitive searches, lost person searches, criminal surveillance, and natural disaster photography. Agencies outside of the Department of Public Safety regularly request and receive assistance from the State Patrol’s FLIR-equipped aircraft.
The Communications Operation of the Iowa State Patrol is a state wide network and provides a communication “lifeline” to all officers of the Department of Public Safety as well as officers of the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation. It also provides service to the National Guard and other federal agencies. The State Patrol’s Command Center Trailer provides an on-site emergency communications center for natural and civil disasters.
The communications section also provides maintenance of radio equipment for the department’s personnel. Design, specifications and implementation of mobile and base radio systems is handled by the engineering section.
As peace officers with state-wide jurisdiction, the primary job responsibility of a Trooper is enforcement of motor vehicle laws.
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