Police Department Recruitment

The Des Moines Policy Academy recruits police officers.  The Academy staff, along with the City’s Human Resources Department, attend job fairs, organize recruiting forums, and actively recruit minority applicants.   

  • To be considered for the next police recruitment, job interest cards are available from the Human Resources Department, 2nd Floor, Municipal Services Center, 1551 MLK Pkwy, Des Moines, Iowa.

Please note:  Home or email addresses must be current for potential candidates to receive notification of upcoming police recruitments.   

Reserve Police Officers

  • The Des Moines Police Department is always looking for reserve officer candidates to work alongside our full-time officers.
  • For information about wages and benefits, please review the job classification information.
  • If you have questions, you can contact Human Resources 515-283-4213.

Qualities We Seek
It is a known fact that law enforcement today is much more complex than in previous years. Therefore, once the notification has been sent, the Des Moines Police Department will look for candidates who possess the following qualities:

  • Exercise initiative, take responsibility and handle difficult situations
  • Desire and ability to adapt thinking to technological and sociological changes
  • Emotional maturity, physical strength, and ability to remain calm in emotionally charged situations
  • Strong social and communication skills that will enable them to work with people from many different backgrounds. 
  • Good character and integrity
  • Ability to carry a great deal of responsibility in handling difficult situations alone

Good Moral Character
An applicant must be of good moral character, which means that they can be trusted and are considered by those who know them to be a person of good reputation and good standing in the community. When conduct is of a nature that, if known, would tend to discredit the applicant as a peace officer, the applicant will be disqualified from employment consideration. The character of a person is determined by past and present behavior. Many factors are relevant in this assessment. The Department seeks applicants whose histories show good judgment, maturity, a sense of responsibility, and respect for others.

Some Disqualifying Factors

  • Conviction of a felony (Conviction of other, less serious offenses or any offense will be evaluated based upon how recently it occurred, severity, frequency, and circumstances)
  • Conviction of domestic abuse, assault, or theft will disqualify the applicant from employment consideration
  • A consistent pattern of unexplained failures to meet debt obligations
  • Giving false information on the application, during the application process, or any attempt of deception or fraud relating to the examination process
  • History of excessive use of alcohol without successful rehabilitation
  • Current (past 12 months) excessive use or abuse of alcohol
  • Marijuana use in the past 24 months
  • Use of other illegal drugs in the past 36 months, including but not limited to: Hashish, Hash oil, Heroin, LSD, Amphetamines, Steroids, Cocaine, Crack, Methadone, Morphine and/or opium, Acid, Microdots, Windowpane, and Mescaline.  Use or experimentation with drugs, other than noted above, will be evaluated.
  • Use of any illegal drug or conviction of a felony or any other serious offense after becoming an applicant
  • A felony conviction or conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.  Moral turpitude can be, but is not limited to any of the following acts: income tax evasion, perjury, theft, indecent exposure, sex crimes, conspiracy to commit a crime, defrauding the government, and illegal drug sales.  However, various factors may cause an offense which is generally not regarded as constituting moral turpitude to be regarded as such.  For example, a record of several convictions for criminal mischief would involve moral turpitude, whereas a single act would not.

Tests & Examinations
Potential recruits will be required to take a physical fitness test and a written examination before moving forward in the hiring process.  You can find detailed information about the tests and examinations here 

Evaluating Recruits
Police officer applicants are subject to a background investigation. Information gained through the investigation is used to determine if individual applicants meet established guidelines. Applicants who do not meet established guidelines are not given further appointment consideration.

All applicants who reach the final selection stage must pass:

  • Background Check
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Physical Exam
  • Drug Screen
  • Psychological Screening

Successful completion of these requirements does not guarantee appointment as a Police Officer.