Entry-level Police Officers


Now Recruiting!

The Madison Wisconsin Police Department is seeking mature-minded men and women who possess integrity and self-confidence. Strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as a desire to work with the community are essential. We are currently accepting applications for Police Officer, with an expected hire date in the fall of 2016. No prior law enforcement experience or training is required! Successful past applicants have typically had significant education and/or life experiences. Many have previously worked in teaching, social work, business, or a variety of other professions.

A career with the Madison Police Department is both challenging and rewarding. We are an innovative organization, proud of our diversity and that of the community we serve.



  1. What Kind Of Training Is Provided?

Our Academy usually runs from 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. The Academy is not residentially based; at the end of the workday, recruits go to their own homes – not a barracks or dormitory. The tone of our Academy endeavors to treat all of our recruits as continuing adult learns. Those ultimately hired will receive extensive training in such areas as law, crisis intervention, firearms, and use of community resources. This initial training lasts four months, and is one of the most comprehensive in the country. It is conducted in Madison under the direct supervision for the Madison Police Department Training Staff. It is not unusual for our newly-hired officers to have widely varying technical and non-technical skills. Our goal is to provide a base of training which builds on each individual’s unique body of knowledge and expertise. As a recruit in training, full salary and benefits apply. (*Note: MPD does not provide and exemption from the pre-service academy for officers interested in later employment to our Department. Everyone hired, regardless of certifications, must participate in our academy.)

What Happens After Completion of Initial Training?

After the Academy, the new officers undergo four months of field training with a veteran mentor. Following the completion of field training, officers are then assigned to Patrol Services.

Are There Promotions or Other Jobs Within The Department?

New hires are placed on an eighteen month probationary period which commences on the first day of the Academy. Upon graduation, officers are assigned to Patrol Services. Promotional opportunities begin after four years of service. There are also a variety of positions in the Department which officers may apply for laterally after three years of service. Some of these are full-time positions while others develop special expertise to be utilized in specific situations. These include such areas as safety education officers, neighborhood officers, educational resource officers, traffic enforcement safety team, SWAT team and community policing teams.

Exactly What is The Hiring Process?

The process is as follows:

  1. It is very important to make certain the entire application is filled out accurately and completely. This for will represent you during the entire selection process. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR ESSAY RESPONSE. (Put N/A where something does not apply to you.)
  2. Following a review of your application, you will be invited to take a written exam and a physical agility assessment. The written exam measures reading comprehension and vocabulary skill, similar to those you have probably taken in school. AN ESSAY WILL BE GIVEN AT THE WRITTEN EXAM, AND SHOULD BE REVIEWED PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. These tests are not intended to assess your knowledge of specific skill sets or procedures unique to policing.
  3. Upon Successful completion of the written, the result will be evaluated in conjunction with the preliminary application. The review will be conducted by an internal panel using criteria approved by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners (PFC). This panel will select a group of applicants to continue the oral board component of the hiring process.
  4. Remaining applicants will appear for an oral interview with a panel approved by the PFC. Only the highest scorers will be advanced.
  5. An investigation into the background of remaining candidates will be completed by the Madison Police Department. Applicants are advised to be very accurate when completing the Person History Statement. Any falsification or misrepresentation may cause for rejection. An eligibility list will be established by the PFC at the completion of the background process.
  6. The remaining candidates will have a personal interview with the Chief of Police, a ride-along with a Field Training Officer, and a discussion with one of our psychiatrists. This stage can be accomplished in one trip/visit to Madison.
  7. Pass the physical agility assessment (the protocols are outlines below).
  8. A conditional job offer will be made to those selected. To remove the “conditionality” of the job offer, a candidate MUST:

                                                         i.            Pass a comprehensive medical examination (At MPD’s expense).

                                                       ii.            Candidate signs a commitment pledge (agrees to withdraw from any other hiring process and stipulates forfeiture of $3,500 if the candidate leaves MPD prior to the conclusion of the probationary period of 18 months).

                                                      iii.            Offer of employment may be withdrawn if the candidate engages in conduct detrimental to MPD (i.e. evidence of serious behavior that contravenes the suitability of employment as a police officer, as determined by MPD).

  1. The Chief will recommend a panel of applicants to the PFC for approval as probationary officers.
  2. Once the academy commences there is no eligibility list. Applicants can reapply each year for the next class.

For Those applicant who live a considerable distance (more than a sic hour drive) from Madison, we have made arrangements to consolidate certain components of the process. It is our hope that this will defray at least some of your time and expenses. Consolidated testing will take place twice per process. Please visit our website at www.madisonpolice.com for more details on consolidated testing for “distant” candidates.

What is the Physical Agility Exam?

Standards a. through c. as listed below are minimums established by the PFC that must be met. Superior performance in all these areas will be considered as an overall factor in our competitive process.

  1. Abdominal Strength: Twenty-five sit-ups in one (1) minute.
  2. Cardio-Vascular Endurance: One and one-half (1-1/2) miles in no more than fourteen minutes, thirty seconds (14:30)
  3. Upper Body Strength: Fifteen (15) “perfect protocol” pushups.

         Candidates will also be assessed, but not graded on:

  • Flexibility (lower back and hamstrings): Sit and Reach Test
  • Muscular endurance (hand strength): Trigger Pull Test
  • Explosive power of the lower body (leg strength): Vertical Jump Test




  1. What Are the Minimum Requirements For Becoming A Madison Police Officer?
  • A United States citizen and at least 18 years of age at the time of application per City Ordinance Sec. 62.13(4)(d)Stats.
  • High school Graduate or possess a G.E.D. High School Equivalency Diploma.
  • Possess a current driver’s license and be eligible for a Wisconsin driver’s license.
  • Meet our occupational health standard. For a comprehensive list of job-related dimensions, please visit our website at: http://www.cityofmadison.com/Police/joinTeam/applyPacket.cfm for more information.
  • No felony convictions (unless pardoned by the Governor of the State.) Domestic violence convictions are automatic disqualifiers.
  • No conviction record or pending charge which substantially relates to the work of a Police Officer.

In addition, any new officer who does not possess a two-year associate degree or sixty credits from an accredited college at time of hire must meet this standard within five years.


  1. What Is The Salary? What Are The Benefits?

The starting Salary for a beginning police officer as of January 2015, is $47,041 annually with a raise after 6 months to $52,306. Some of the benefits are:

  1. Pension covered through the Wisconsin Retirement System ( www.etf.wi.gov; contributions made by employer and employee).
  2. Health insurance coverage through five different options (some of these programs are at no cost to the employee).
  3. Wage, life, and disability insurance plans.
  4. Thirty-seven and one-half (37-1/2) hour work week.
  5. Educational incentive pay plan after forty-two (42) months of continuous service.

The educational incentive pay plan is particularly noteworthy. After 42 months of continuous service, your base salary will increase relative to the amount of education attained. For example, an associate’s degree will realize a pay increase of 9%; putting your base pay at $62,145. For a bachelor’s degree a pay increase of 18% ($67,276) and for a master’s degree a pay increase of 22% % (%69,556). The aforementioned base pay does not include briefing time, shift differential or other routine overtime (i.e., court).

How to Apply

You may access our application at the following website: www.madisonpolice.com “Apply. You may receive an application by mail, please email (dslawek@cityofmadison.com) or by calling (608) 266-4190.

What If I Have Questions Which Are Not Addressed Here?

If you are interested in the Madison Police Department, we encourage you to gain more information by discussing career opportunities with members of our training staff between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday or you may write to them at the above address. The City of Madison Police Department website may also be accessed at: www.madisonpolice.com or questions may be directed to: Sergeant Tim Patton: tpatton@cityofmadison.com or Deb Slawek: dslawek@cityofmadison.com.