Peace Officer Candidate

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to serve as a Peace Officer Candidate with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and take the first step towards becoming a Certified Peace Officer.


About the Position

As a Peace Officer Candidate, your primary responsibility will be to ensure the safety and security of the State Capitol Complex and Terrace Hill Governor’s Residence.

Benefits (Health, Dental, Life)
  • Health/Dental/Life Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Nine paid holidays plus generous paid vacation and paid sick leave. Accrual begins on Day One of employment
  • Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) defined benefit program
  • Mentorship and development opportunities- work side by side with our Post 16 Troopers
  • We care about your well-being beyond the workplace. Access confidential counseling, resources, and support through our Employee Assistance Program. We also offer access to our DPS Wellness App for employees and their families. 
The Path to the Patrol

This is a temporary, non-sworn position. POCs are expected to apply separately for openings within the Iowa Department of Public Safety during the next applicable academy hiring process. As a Peace Officer Candidate, you will be given two opportunities to seek employment as a Certified Peace Officer with the Iowa Department of Public Safety. If you are unsuccessful after two attempts at not being accepted into the DPS Academy, you will be asked to resign your position as a Peace Officer Candidate.

The DPS Academy Hiring Process

The DPS Academy hiring process will include the following: 

  • Physical Fitness Testing (1.5 mile run, sit-ups, push-ups and sit and reach) 
  • Oral Board (interview) 
  • Written Test (grammar, spelling, mathematics, writing, etc.) 
  • Completion of a Polygraph 
  • Psychological and Medical Evaluations 
  • Extensive Background Investigation

*Employment as a Peace Officer Candidate does not guarantee your entrance into the DPS Academy. 



  • Graduation from high school, GED, or equivalency
  • All applicants must apply to the next DPS Academy application process in which they are eligible, meeting the Minimum Hiring Qualifications in the State Code of Iowa Chapter 501.  Additionally, all applicants must meet the additional hiring standards implemented by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.  


Additional Qualification Requirements

All applicants must be eligible for enrollment in the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy training program. Screening for the Academy includes:

a) Thorough background investigation and evaluation (including fingerprint searches) for substance abuse, or arrest and conviction records that indicate an individual could not serve effectively as a peace officer.
b) Physical examination and agility test to assure that an individual is free from conditions which might adversely affect the performance of duties (drug screens included).
c) Vision exam requiring uncorrected vision of not less than 20/100 correctable to 20/20 with normal color vision.
d) Hearing exam with a loss not exceeding a 25-decibel average in either ear at 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 cycles.
e) Battery of psychological exams to determine that the individual meets the minimum standards for mental fitness required for a law enforcement officer.
f) Oral Board and Polygraph review.
g) Age – applicants must be at least 18 years of age. All applicants must be United States citizens but need not be Iowa residents at the time of application.

Applicants must successfully complete and graduate from the Departmental Academy.

Positions in this class are exempt from the screening and referral requirements of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise. Interested parties should apply directly to the Department of Public Safety.
Applicants must possess the ability and be willing to work on all shifts, extended hours, holidays, and weekends.

Administrative Services

Sworn Officer Positions

Our next DPS Basic Academy (sworn officer) application process will open on January 19, 2024. Applications for the DPS academy process will be available at that time.

Applications are now closed.

To apply for a sworn officer position, please complete the link below.

Peace Officer Candidate (Non-Sworn)

If you are interested in working with Iowa DPS as a Peace Officer Candidate at Post 16, please visit the link below.

Civilian Positions

If you are interested in working with Iowa DPS in a civilian role, please visit the link below.