"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Police Career - Hiring & Officer Certification Process

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Thank you for expressing interest in joining the Leawood Police Department. We believe the protection of the people and property within our community is a task worthy of the finest in our profession, and we are constantly seeking capable new people to assist us in this effort. We hope you are one such person.

The following information is intended to prepare you for the steps ahead in becoming a Leawood Police Officer. Having read this, you will know what to expect, and ideally it will assist you in completing the process successfully.

Application: If you have not already done so, you need to complete an application for employment with the City of Leawood. The electronic application must be submitted online. (click here for on-line application) Please take the time to finish this form completely. Your honest response to all items is critical.

Preliminary Testing: The first portion of the current applicant selection process utilized by the Leawood Police Department involves passing a nationally standardized written test. The test includes sections on math, reading, grammar and writing. The preliminary testing also includes completing a separate writing sample. Each of these aspects has a time limit.

While knowledge of and/ or a background in law enforcement is certainly an advantage, it is not required to achieve a passing score. The City of Leawood requires a passing score of 70 on each section as well as overall.

The manner of test preparation is different for each individual. Generally we would suggest you get plenty of rest during the twenty-four hour period preceding the test. We further recommend you arrive at the testing location ahead of your scheduled test time to familiarize yourself with the environment and allow yourself a few minutes to establish the proper mind-set.

The test itself will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Once the testing is finished, the first four sections are submitted to the test provider for grading. The last section is reviewed by members of the Leawood Police Department. While the content of your writing sample is important, we also consider grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and the overall legibility of your writing.

Oral Board: Once you have passed the preliminary testing portion of the process, you will be put on an eligibility list to appear in front of a board consisting of current members of the Leawood Police Department.

We again suggest you arrive comfortably ahead of your scheduled appointment time. When the board is ready, you will be escorted to the conference room. After any preliminary matters have been addressed, you will be given an opportunity to respond to a series of questions. The question will then be read aloud by a member of the board, and you will be required to respond promptly. If you take longer than three minutes to complete a single answer, a member of the board will stop you and present the next question.

This process should take approximately thirty minutes but is largely dependent upon the length of your responses. Bear in mind, although many of the questions are law enforcement related, no prior knowledge of police protocols or procedures is required to answer them successfully. While the quality of your answers is important, other factors will also be considered in your overall score including your physical presence, your composure, and your ability to articulate ideas.

The Next Steps: Participation in a hiring process does not guarantee that there are current openings. The police department maintains an on-going process to fill any openings as well as to establish an eligibility list for any future openings. Should the police department have open positions, the top finishers in the testing and oral board will progress to the next step, an interview with the Chief of Police. If there are current openings, every effort will be made to schedule the Chief's interview with the oral board interview.

Once the Chief has finished interviewing applicants, the applicants will be ranked and, depending on the number of vacancies, the top applicants will move forward into additional steps toward earning an offer of employment. It is your performance in the initial phases, however, that will determine whether these later steps are appropriate.

If you are one of the candidates selected to continue in the hiring process, you will proceed through the following steps (not necessarily in this order):

  • Consumer Credit check
  • Extensive background investigation and criminal history check
  • Job fitness test
  • Polygraph examination
  • Physical examination and drug screen
  • Psychological examination

Image result for Johnson County Regional Police Academy

Obtaining Your Commission: Once an officer is hired and sworn in, they must establish their Kansas Police Officer Certification:

  • Those with no prior law enforcement experience must attend the Johnson County Regional Police Academy's course approved by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer's Standards and Training. By state statute, KLETC training is available only to members of one of the 431 law enforcement agencies in Kansas
  • New officers certified in another state will have their training records submitted to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer's Standards and Training for review. Those who pass this review must still attend 40-hours of Reciprocity Training.
  • A new officer already certified in Kansas will complete several days of in-house training to familiarize them with the Leawood Police Department.

New Officer Training: As with most progressive police agencies, all new Leawood police officers must complete a post academy training program.  The Leawood Police Department is one of the first agencies in Kansas to adopt the Reno model of post academy training, also known at the Police Training Officer (PTO) program.  The PTO program is based on adult learning principles, problem based learning and the Failing Forward concept. The Leawood Police Department's PTO program is an intensive 16 week program which consists of an Introduction phase, four training phases and two evaluation periods.  One unique aspect of the PTO program is that not only do the trainers and evaluators provide written documentation of the recruit officer's progress, the recruit officer themselves also provide self evaluations of their progress.  In addition to learning the responsibilities and duties of a Leawood police officer, new officers must also complete a series of Problem Based Learning Exercises.  These are ill structured problems designed to test a new officer's problem solving abilities.  New officers in the PTO program will work with several different trainers and will work on each of the three shifts.  After successfully completing the PTO program, new officers will be assigned to the Patrol Division as a solo police officer.

Questions: If you have any additional questions about the police officer hiring process, or any other jobs available within the Leawood Police Department, please contact the Professional Standards Officer at (913)663-9333 or by e-mail.