Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

Frequently Asked Questions of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy


How do I apply to come to the Law Enforcement Academy?

You must be hired by or sponsored by a Law Enforcement Agency before attending the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

What requirements must I meet in order to get hired by an Agency?

All minimum standards for Iowa law enforcement officers must be satisfied:
The person must

1.  Be a U. S. Citizen and a resident of Iowa or intend to become a resident upon being employed*;
    *As reference in Iowa Administrative Code 2.1(1) Is a citizen of the United States and a resident of  Iowa or intends to become a resident upon being employed; provided that the state residency requirement under this subrule shall not apply to employees of a city or county that has adopted an ordinance to allow employees of the city or county to reside in another state and shall not apply to an employee of a city or county that later repeals such an ordinance if the employee resides in another state at the time of the repeal. Railway special agents who are approved by the commissioner of public safety as special agents of the department shall be exempt from the Iowa residency requirement.
2.  Is 18 years of age at the time of appointment;
3. Hold a valid Iowa driver's license*;
    *As reference in Iowa Administrative Code 2.1(3), Railway special agents who are approved by the commissioner of public safety as special agents of the department and officers who are allowed to reside in an adjacent state shall be required to possess a valid driver’s or chauffeur’s license of the state of residence of the officer.
4. Not be addicted to drugs or alcohol [modified for Chapter 400 civil service positions by §400.17 of the Code of Iowa];
5. Be of good moral character as determined by a thorough background investigation including a fingerprint search conducted of local, state and national fingerprint files and have not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude;
6. Successfully pass physical fitness tests; 
7. Not be opposed to use of force to fulfill duties;
8. Be a high school graduate or hold a GED certificate;
9. Have uncorrected vision of not less than 20/100 in both eyes, corrected to 20/20, and color vision consistent with the Occupational demands of law enforcement;
10. Have normal hearing in each ear (hearing aids are acceptable if a candidate can demonstrate sufficient hearing proficiency to perform all necessary duties of a law enforcement officer)
11. Be examined by a physician and meet the physical requirements necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer.
12. Undergo psychological testing.
13. Undergo cognitive (Basic Skills) testing

Do I have to meet these requirements if I am hired as chief of police?
Yes. They apply to the hiring of all full-time and part-time officers in all cities in Iowa regardless of population.

Can some agencies apply different tests and higher standards than the minimum state standards?
Yes they can as long as all of the minimum standards and tests are successfully passed prior to hire.

Will I be tested on the physical fitness minimums again after I have been hired?
Yes before entry into any of the law enforcement certification training programs you will be re-tested to make sure you meet the minimum hiring PT standards.

Can only certified officers be hired?
No. Officers have one year from the date of their employment in which to become certified through the successful completion of training at an approved law enforcement training facility. This must be accomplished in order to remain eligible for continued employment. However, liability implications in placing untrained officers on duty should be very carefully considered.

I am an officer who has been trained and certified in another state. Do I still have to go through the Academy?
No, providing that the person has actually served as a sworn officer in the other state within twelve months before the hiring date in Iowa, and that the training received for certification in the other state was at least 160 hours. The person may then be eligible for Certification Through Examination in Iowa. Application must be made to the Academy within 120 days after hiring. All minimum standards for Iowa law enforcement officers must be met prior to hiring. Although you may not have to attend the Academy to receive certification it is strictly up to the hiring agency if they want you to attend.

I am an officer who is already certified and who is working for another jurisdiction. Does that person still have to meet the minimum standards?
Certified Iowa law enforcement officers who move from one Iowa agency to another with no more than a six month break in service are not required to re-verify compliance with minimum standards; however, a background investigation including fingerprint checks and psychological examination are necessary prior to hiring. Agencies may establish additional standards. Civil service provisions and requirements, if any, still apply.

We wish to hire a person who has undergone radial keratotomy (Lasik) and whose vision is now within standards. Is this acceptable?
The minimum standards for Iowa law enforcement officers do not address the radial keratotomy procedure; thus it is within the discretion of each individual hiring authority, who must certify to the Academy that all hiring standards have been met, to make that determination. If the question arises, the Academy strongly recommends consultation with appropriate eye doctors.

Can someone's attendance be "sponsored" at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy?
Yes. Due to legal changes sponsorship, is now an option for application to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. We now accept students not yet hired but who are instead sponsored by Iowa Law Enforcement Agencies. See your local Law Enforcement Agencies for sponsorship opportunities

Can our city send our reserve officers through the Academy?
No. Reserve officers' function under Chapter 80D of The Code of Iowa and their training is provided by the law enforcement agency for which they are appointed.

Will my training at the Law Enforcement Academy count as credit at other Colleges or Universities?
Some Community Colleges accept attendance at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy as college credit. Check with your registrars office or the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy for details.

Can I attend other colleges in Iowa to receive Certification as a Law Enforcement Officer?
Some Community Colleges have programs where hired officers can attend certification programs provided they have a two-year or a four-year degree in Criminal Justice or Police Science. Again, all pre-employment minimum hiring standards must be met.

There are also several Regional Training Sites including sites run by the Des Moines Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Department of Public Safety.

These answers are synopsized primarily from 501 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapters 2 and 3, the rules of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy adopted pursuant to Chapters 80B and 80D of the Code of Iowa. Full details and complete information is more fully set forth therein. For copies and additional information please contact the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy by e-mail at ILEA Web Admin, phone (515) 331-5779 or fax (515) 727-3036.

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