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The Rockford Police Department application process for lateral police officers is open from May 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017. Please click here for the Lateral Transfers Guide. Please click here for more information and to apply.


The Rockford Police Department application process for entry-level police officers is currently closed. Click HERE to enter information on the job interest card.

Please thoroughly read all the provided information on our Rockford Police Department Recruiting page before inquiring with a question that can be answered via our website. Please do not text message the recruiters.


Verified applicants will be notified of when to register for the physical assessment written exam and M-Pulse by the recruiting department. No one will be allowed to schedule until after the application period closes and the recruiting department verifies applications.


If you are looking for a career with one of the largest police agencies in the State of Illinois, please review the information presented here and/or contact our recruiter at 779-500-6628 . From the initial date of application, through the entire recruiting process, our recruiters will be available for questions or advice.




There are certain standards that an applicant must meet in order to become a Rockford police officer and these are summarized in this section. All qualifications are set within the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, City of Rockford Ordinances and all applicable statutes.



Applicant must be 21 – 34 years old by the start of the academy date - 01/2018. Exceptions apply to U.S. veterans and persons previously employed as police officers within a municipality. According to Illinois Compiled Statues section 65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-6  “With respect to a police department, a veteran shall be allowed to exceed the maximum age provision of this Section by the number of years served on active military duty, but by no more than 10 years of active military duty.”


Driver’s License

A valid Driver’s License is required at the time of appointment to the Department.



A High School Diploma (or its equivalent) is required.


Arrest Record

An applicant must not have any felony convictions nor have been convicted of certain misdemeanors. A list of disqualifying convictions is contained in the disqualification section.


Physical Condition

All applicants will participate in the Physical Fitness Assessment, explained in the TESTING INFORMATION section. Additionally, final candidates will undergo an extensive physical/medical examination.



Employees must live in Winnebago County or within fifteen (15) miles of the Public Safety Building within six (6) months of the conclusion of their probationary period. The probationary period is eighteen (18) months unless extended by the Board for performance reasons.




The recruiting process consists of the following:

  • Physical Fitness Assessment
  • Written Examination
  • Written M-Pulse Inventory Test
  • The submission of Required Documents
  • Oral Interview with the City of Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners
  • Psychological Test,
  • Background Check,
  • Medical Examination
  • Final Physical Fitness Assessment

Before the oral interview, the Board uses each applicant's written application, employment history and criminal history check to determine which candidates are qualified for the position and will be allowed to take the oral examination. The Board then establishes an eligibility list based on the written and oral exam scores. The process from initial application to the time of hire will take approximately 5-6 months, depending upon the number of vacancies to be filled at the Police Department and the number of applicants on the eligibility list. The length of the eligibility list is determined by the number of foreseen openings that will develop within the Department over the life of the list. Therefore, some applicants that pass all phases of the testing process may not be included on the final eligibility list.

Once an eligible police officer candidate accepts a conditional employment offer, the Department will begin an in-depth background and criminal history investigation and the candidate must undergo a polygraph and psychological exam, as well as an extensive medical and physical examination. If the candidate is not disqualified by any findings during this investigation and/or examination, he or she will be offered a position and sworn in as a Police Officer.



Please click on "APPLY NOW" located above to begin the application process.

Please thoroughly read all the provided information on our Rockford Police Department Recruiting page before inquiring with a question that can be answered via our website. Please do not text message the recruiters.



The first step in becoming a police officer is to complete an electronic application. Please ensure you answer all questions completely and accurately.

Applicant Requirements:

  • At least 21 years of age by start of academy 
  • Have not reached 35 by application deadline date 
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED
  • Valid driver's license





The City of Rockford offers a competitive benefits package to its Police Officers.  Included in this package is:

    •  Starting Salary  $52,811,00
    •  2nd Year of service  $56,976.00
    •  3rd Year of service  $61,144.00
    •  4th Year of service  $65,314.00 
    •  5th Year of service  $68,095.00
    •  6th Year of service  $71,569.00
    •  11 -15 Years of service  $75,361.00
    •  16 + Years of service  $76,870.00

 *As of July 1, 2017.


A total of twelve paid holidays are provided to employees.



A new employee will earn two weeks of vacation after the completion of their first year of employment. After that, an officer will receive two weeks of vacation. Vacation will then increase to three weeks after five (5) years of service, four (4) weeks after fourteen (14) years of service and five (5) weeks after twenty-four (24) years.


Health Insurance

The City of Rockford offers an excellent health and dental plan to all employees.


Sick Leave

Officers are provided with a liberal sick leave policy.



All necessary uniforms are provided to an officer at no cost. This includes a bullet proof vest, all leather items and duty weapon (Smith & Wesson M & P .40 caliber semi-automatic).



Our pension plan is in accordance with the Illinois Compiled Statutes, 40 ILCS 5/. Both the participant and the City of Rockford contribute to the pension plan.



By action of the Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners the below list of specific offenses automatically disqualify anyone from being a police officer with the City of Rockford.

Conviction of any misdemeanor within the last 5 years or convicted of more than 3 moving violations within the last 3 years.

The Board’s action is based upon legislation in the Illinois Compiled Statutes: 50 ILCS 705/6, 50 ILCS 705/6.1, and 65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-6.

If you have been CONVICTED of any of the listed offenses you cannot be a police officer in Rockford.

  • ANY Felony
  • Indecent Solicitation of a Child (5/11-6)
  • Adultery (5/11-7)
  • Public Indecency (5/11-9)
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Child (5/11-9.1)
  • Prostitution (5/11-14)
  • Soliciting for a Prostitute (5/11-15)
  • Keeping a Place of Prostitution (5/11-17)
  • Patronizing a Prostitute (5/11-18)
  • Pimping (5/11-19)
  • Aggravated Assault (5/12-2)
  • Intimidation (5/12-6)
  • Criminal Sexual Abuse (5/12-15)
  • Theft (5/16-1)
  • Deceptive Practices (5/17-1)
  • Impersonating a Police Veteran/Fraternal Org. (5/17-2)
  • Residential Picketing (5/21.1-3)
  • Unlawful Use of Weapon, Subsections (1), (6), and (8) of (5/24-1)
  • Unlawful Possession of Firearms and Firearm Ammunition (5/24-3.1)
  • Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms (5/24-5)
  • Mob Action (5/25-1)
  • Keeping a Gambling Place (5/28-3)
  • Offering a Bribe (5/29-1)
  • Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer or Correctional Institution Employee (5/31-1)
  • Obstructing Justice (5/31-4)
  • Escape / Failure to Report (5/31-6)
  • Aiding Escape (5/31-7)
  • Compounding a Crime (5/32-1)
  • Perjury (5/32-2)
  • Subordination of Perjury (5/32-3)
  • Communicating with Jurors and Witnesses (5/32-4)
  • Harassment of Jurors or Families of Jurors (5/32-4(a))
  • Simulating Legal Process (5/32-7)
  • Tampering with Public Records (5/32-8)
  • Manufacture or Delivery of Cannabis (550/5)
  • Delivery of Cannabis on School Grounds (550/5.2)
  • Convicted of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence involving the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.



The testing process to become a Rockford Police Officer has several steps:

Physical Fitness Assessment/CWH Written Exam/M-Pulse Exam

After the initial application, the next step in the testing process is the Physical Fitness Assessment. The assessment consists of four (4) separate events. Three (3) of the events are PASS/FAIL.



It is strongly recommended that candidates prepare for the Physical Fitness Assessment. It is also strongly recommended that candidates obtain clearance from a competent medical authority before preparing for and/or engaging in this assessment.

The four events include:

  • Sit-and-Reach Test
  • One Minute Sit-up Test
  • One Repetition Maximum Bench Press
  • 1.5 Mile Run (Timed)

Applicants must pass each test. A failure on any one of the three (3) tests removes the applicant from any further testing. When a completed initial application is received by the Department, applicants are advised of when and where the Physical Fitness Assessment will take place.


Written Examination

The written test will be given on the same day as the Physical Fitness Assessment. This test does not require a study guide although the guide is available on this website. A minimum of 70% is needed to pass the written exam.

NOTE: This exam will count for 40% of the final weighted score.


M-Pulse Inventory Test

This exam will provide the Fire and Police Commissioners with additional insight as to the character of the applicant.


Required Documents

Applicants are required to submit the following documents (as they apply to you) to the Rockford Police Department Recruiting Unit, 557 S. New Towne Drive, Rockford, Illinois, 61108, at a later given date to remain in the testing process:

  • Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
  • High School Diploma or Equivalency Certificate
  • All High School Transcripts (Official Copy Only, Sealed & Unopened)
  • College Diploma(s)
  • All College transcripts (Official Copy Only, Sealed & Unopened)
  • Trade School Transcripts and Certificates
  • Certified Copy of Military DD214
  • Copy of Citizenship or Naturalization Documents
  • Copy of Driver’s License (Front and Back)
  • Copy of Social Security Card (Front and Back)
  • Copy of Name Change Documents
  • Copy of Marriage License/Divorce Decree
  • Peace Officer Training Certificates
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional)

NOTE: No Documents will be returned

The Board reserves the right to remove an applicant who has passed the written examination and physical fitness assessment from the testing process before an oral interview if the applicant’s character or employment history are unsatisfactory or if the applicant otherwise does not appear to be well qualified to discharge the duties of the position, from a review or his or her application, personality trait assessment and background information. The Board shall notify any such applicant who is removed from the testing process.


Oral Examination

Given by the City of Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commission; minimum passing score is 70%. The applicant’s written application, along with the M-Pulse Inventory Test results and background information may be evaluated and considered by each commissioner in conjunction with the interview in determining the applicant’s oral examination score.

NOTE: This exam will count for 60% of the final weighted score.


Military / Educational Preference

Military and Educational points shall be applied in accordance with paragraphs 10-2.1-8 and 10-2.1-9 of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners Act. The preference points awarded under this Section are not cumulative, and no applicant shall receive more than a total of 5 preference points.

Military and educational preference points of 5 points shall be applied to applicants described below:


  • Persons who have successfully obtained an associate’s degree in the field of law enforcement, criminal justice, fire service or emergency medical services,
  • Persons who have successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university,
  • Persons who have successfully obtained or received a certificate attesting to the successful completion of the Minimum Standards Basic Law Enforcement Training Course as provided in the Illinois Police Training Act and are currently serving as a law enforcement officer on a part-time or full-time basis within the State of Illinois,
  • Persons who were engaged in the military or naval service of the United States for a period of at least one year and who were honorably discharged there from or who are now or may hereafter be on inactive or reserve duty in such military or naval service.


Eligibility List

The Board will establish an eligibility list of applicants based on final scores. The length of the list is determined by the number of foreseen openings that will develop within the department over the life of the list. Therefore, some applicants that pass all phases of the testing process may not be included on the final eligibility list.


Background Investigation, and Psychological Exam

When an opening exists and a candidate is eligible to be hired, an in-depth background investigation, medical, and psychological exam will be conducted by the Department. This investigation is advisory to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

Once a candidate for the Rockford Police Department is notified that an opening exists and they are the next person to be hired from the Eligibility List, they can expect the following to take place:



Each applicant under consideration will be required to submit to a psychological examination.


Medical Examination

Final candidates will undergo an extensive medical examination


Physical Examination

The physical examination will be scheduled by the Department after an individual is notified an opening exists. An extensive physical examination is required by the City of Rockford to determine fitness to perform the duties of a police officer. The State of Illinois also requires a physical examination for entry into the Police Academy. The Pension System, an entity separate from the City of Rockford and the State Of Illinois, requires a physical examination for entry into the Pension System.


Physical Fitness Assessment

An individual placed on the final eligibility list must pass the Physical Fitness Assessment before they can be hired. This is the same physical fitness assessment that is given at the beginning of the testing process. The test includes the 1.5 Mile Run, Sit-ups, Sit-and-Reach and the Bench Press. Be prepared to take this test prior to or upon arrival at the police training academy.


Re-Testing Information

If the Department re-tests, an individual who is on a current list has two options:

    • The first option allows that individual to keep his/her original score and not re-test. They are positioned on the new list according to their original score. The original expiration date will still apply. 
    • The second option allows participation in the new testing process. If they successfully complete all the tests, they can then choose either score, old or new. If the new score is chosen, they are placed on a new list, according to the numerical score, for its two-year duration. If they do not successfully pass the new testing process, they can choose their old score and the original expiration date would apply.
    • NOTE: All testing is done within the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, City of Rockford ordinances and all applicable state and federal statutes.





Individuals who are determined to be able to perform the duties as required by the City of Rockford and the State of Illinois are then sworn in as police officers. At this time, the new officer begins an eighteen (18) month probationary period.


Police Training Program

The training to become a Rockford Police Officer takes approximately 40 weeks from the date of hire. This is a long period of time that is very intense, physically and mentally demanding, and at times stressful. The steps of the training process are described below.


Police Training Academy

Once hired, a new police officer will attend Basic Training at an accredited academy. There is one important note regarding this schooling: An officer must maintain a passing average at the school AND pass the Comprehensive Examination given the last week of school. Failure to pass either can result in immediate termination of employment from the Department.


Department Training

Upon completion of Basic Training, officers return to the Department for approximately 5 to 8 weeks of additional classroom and practical training.


Field Training

Upon completion of classroom training, a recruit officer will begin a period of "on-the-job" training. During this 20-week period, the officer will work with Field Training Officers, will be taught various aspects of the job, and will be evaluated regularly.


Patrol Officer

Upon successful completion of the field-training period, the officer will be assigned as a Patrol Officer. This usually means working alone, in a marked squad car, on various shifts.



As an officer moves through his or her career with the Department, there is a potential for advancement to positions, such as Investigator or ranking positions, such as Sergeant and Lieutenant.



General Information

An applicant for the police officer position should be aware that the Rockford Police Department works three ten-hour shifts in the Patrol Division:

  • 6:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
  • 4:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M.
  • 9:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M.

Upon completion of the training program you will be assigned to a patrol shift. Once a year you will have the opportunity to bid for the shift of your choice. Assignments to the shifts will be determined by seniority.



Contact Information

Rockford Police Department
557 S. New Towne Drive
Rockford, IL 61108

Ph: 779-500-6628
Fax: 815-227-0324
Email: Rockford Police Recruiter at


The City of Rockford is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Rockford Police Department 557 S. New Towne Drive, Rockford, IL 61108-2385
Phone: (779) 500-6555 Fax: (815) 227-0324
Emergency: 911 Non-Emergency: (815) 966-2900

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Special thanks to Jason Rotello and Tamika Jones for contributing images for the City of Rockford website.