ALTON - The Alton Police Department is hiring. They’re looking for both entry-level and lateral-level police officers.

APD has multiple positions open and several candidates who are currently in the hiring process. Police Chief Jarrett Ford explained that it’s a long process, but worth it for those who are passionate about law enforcement.

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“When somebody’s hired, I want them to like this job. I don’t want it to just be a job and you come to work because you’ve got to come to work,” Ford said. “I try to build a team of good people that care and want to do a good job and want to be here and help out.”

The hiring process takes several months to complete. All police candidates must apply online and then complete a power test, which assesses physical strength and stamina through a mile-and-a-half run and sit-and-reach, sit-ups and push-ups tests. Candidates then take a written exam and undergo an interview with Alton’s Civil Service Commission.

Meanwhile, APD completes an “intensive” background check, Ford explained, with information about dating partners, friends, family and neighbors. If the background check goes well, candidates must then go through a physical and a psychological examination. Officers are only hired if they pass all of the benchmarks. This process usually takes a little over four months.

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New officers will then attend the police academy for 16 weeks. When they return to APD, they shadow officers and complete on-the-job training, which takes another four months. While the process is extensive, Ford believes it gives APD the best candidates to choose from.

“It is indeed a process and it’s intensive, and to me, I feel like it’s extremely thorough, and I’m a big fan of that,” he said. “I think that gets you the most quality candidates that you can find through that process. So even though it’s a long one, it’s worth it.”

Entry-level officers have a starting base pay of $72,075 after a one-year probation period. Lateral-level officers can expect $78,673 after the one-year period and without the education incentive. Both officers have the potential to earn longevity pay up to 14% and education incentive pay up to 8.75%. APD offers full family medical, dental and optical insurance with pension/retirement investment opportunities and tuition reimbursement.

There are a variety of roles available within the department, including K9, detectives, traffic, street crimes, FTO, SWAT and task forces. Candidates must reside in Madison, Jersey, Macoupin or St. Clair counties in Illinois or St. Louis or St. Charles counties in Missouri. APD and the City of Alton are equal opportunity employers.

“That’s what it’s all about, just finding the best people that have a passion to do this and want to do it and that are just good people,” Ford added. “I don't really want to work with people that aren’t.”

For more information about the roles and the hiring process, visit

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