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Training standards are set by Illinois State Law and reviewed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. However, as a part of an institution of higher education, ISUPD considers learning to be a hallmark of our department and takes pride in seeking and offering courses that go above and beyond state standards.

Step One: Pre-Employment Testing

Those interested in a career with ISUPD must first pass the Police Officer entry examination required by the State Universities Civil Service System. This examination is comprised of three parts (below) and a combined score of 70 or higher is required to pass.

  1. The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) ensures that candidates can safety meet the physical demands of the positition. View mandated standards here.
  2. The Cognitive Test for Police Officer Examination consists of inquiries into the integrity and knowledge of candidates.
  3. The Structured Oral Interview (SOI) is a 30-minute interview with a SOI Assessor Panel approved by the State Universities Civil Service System office.

Candidates that pass the state-mandated entry examination will then be scheduled for a traditional interview with ISUPD staff. This interview will further inquire about integrity and knowledge base and seeks to ensure that the candidate is a good fit for the campus community.

Step Two: Basic Law Enforcement Officer Training

New officers from every department across the state are required to complete 560+ hours at an authorized state law enforcement academy. The Police Training Institute in Urbana-Champaign is one such academy which matches our values of progressive, scenario-based training.

Step Three: Officer Field Training

Once an officer returns from Basic Law Enforcement Officer Training, they begin 20+ weeks of Officer Field Training. Our Field Training Officers are specially selected to instruct, guide, and nurture new recruits to ensure full understanding of our University, policies, procedures, and values. Field training allows new officers to live the day-to-day experiences of our department while also building relationships with our community, undergoing intensive scenario-based training for even the rarest of situations, and completing tests to ensure understanding of training content. During this time, officers cycle through shifts and train with multiple Field Training Officers so that trainees can work through and become familiar with as many scenarios as possible.

Step Four: Continuing Education

We take pride in the training and education of our officers, and that continues on through their last day on campus. Below are a few examples of the ways our officers are challenged to learn and grow throughout their careers.

  • Daily Training Bulletins

    Daily Training Bulletins (DTBs) are small, daily pieces of information surrounding laws, policies, and department directives. DTBs are assigned to all department employees and allow employees to stay on top of ever-changing topics without the time consuming task of reading complete collections of laws, policies, and directives in full. Retention of Gold Status from Lexipol Connect shows the success of this training program and perfectly complements our full accreditation awarded by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training

    All officers upon arrival to our department are required to complete an introduction to white privilege and institutional racism provided by the Division of Student Affairs (this falls in step 3 as outlined above). The State of Illinois requires 3 hours of of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training every 3 years. Department policy, however, requires all employees to complete at least 1 hour* of DEI training each quarter. Topics of trainings that fulfill this requirement include, but are not limited to:

    • Verbal de-escalation
    • Racial intelligence training and engagement
    • Implicit bias
    • Procedural justice
    • Anti-racism
    • The LGBTQ community
    • Autism recognition
    • Crisis intervention certification
    • Policing and transgender, Muslim, and Sikh Communities (DOJ Series)
    • Deliberative dialogues

    *While 1 hour is required, our department averaged approximately 3 hours of DEI training per employee per quarter in 2020.

  • Medical Aid Training

    As first responders, we have a responsibility to render aid to the extent of our abilities. Officers receive annual emergency medical aid training including, but not limited to, the following:

    • First aid
    • CPR
    • AED operation
  • Specialty Training

    Officers have the opportunity to train in specialized areas of policing. These officers are then qualified to join and/or lead department-, county-, or state-wide teams. Specialization areas include:

    • Bike patrol officer
    • Firearms instructor
    • Field Training Officer
    • Replicating Adverse Dynamics (self-defense) instructor
    • Crisis Negotiation Team (McLean County)
    • Emergency Response Unit (McLean County)
    • Mobile Field Force (Illinois)
  • Other Continuing Education

    Professional development is as important of a tool as those we put on our duty belts. Opportunities provided to officers include, but are not limited to:

    • Mobile Training Unit (MTU8) regional training unit
    • Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) Executive Institute Online Learning Network
    • PoliceOne Academy virtual training database
    • ISU Division of Student Affairs Professional Development
    • ISU Human Resources Training & Workshops