Recruitment and Employment

About Dubuque and the Department

The City of Dubuque, Iowa, with a population of nearly 60,000 is centrally located on the Mississippi River where the borders of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois meet.  Here are some sources for information on the Dubuque community:

The Dubuque Police Department has an authorized strength of 110 sworn officers and nine civilians. We are a proactive, service-oriented agency, employing community policing principles. Most of our sworn officers are assigned to patrol and criminal investigation activities.

Click here to download an informational brochure on the Dubuque Police Department. 

If you are interested in taking part in the ride-along program, complete an application
First step in a public safety career

​Ongoing Recruitment

Our next testing date is January 26th, 2019.  To be notified when the time/location is scheduled and to be mailed or emailed an application packet, click on the image above.  Information about employment with the City of Dubuque and the Civil Service process are available here.  The Personnel Office may be contacted at 563-589-4125 or via email

For information about becoming a Dubuque Police Officer, see the information below or contact Lt. Steve Olson at 563.589.4454.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and possess a high school diploma or its equivalent at the time of appointment.  A pre-employment drug screen and polygraph examination will be administered.  Women, minorities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


In order to qualify for employment with the Police Department, you must meet the following:
  • Eligible for appointment to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
  • 18 years of age
  • Possess a valid Iowa drivers license (or able to attain one at time of hire)
  • Not a habitual criminal
  • Successfully pass the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy physical agility test
  • Not opposed to the use of force to fulfill that person's duties
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Uncorrected vision of not less than 20/100, correctable to 20/20
  • Normal color vision
  • Able to pass a physical exam and meet the requirements necessary
  • Women and minorities are encouraged to apply

Application Process

Interested applicants should complete a request to be notified when the Civil Service Exam application period is open, and when Police Officer positions become available.  To do so, click on the image above.
You can request a recruitment packet via email or in the mail.

Selection Process

The selection process begins with the Iowa Police Officer Selection Test (POST). The applicants that score highest on the POST continue in the selection process, which consists of a fingerprint and criminal history screening, an oral interview, completion of the Iowa Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test, a background investigation, physical examination with drug screening, psychological evaluation, and polygraph examination.

The applicants who complete the process with the highest standings are placed on a certified Civil Service list for hiring. The applicants with the next highest standings will remain active in the process and be placed on a reserve list.

The Police Chief then makes recommendations to the City Manager for selection from the certified list as vacancies occur. If the list is exhausted within one year, the second list may be activated by the Civil Service Commission. This list may remain active two years past the date of the original test score certification.

Applicants who are selected are notified of their starting date, and commence their probationary period, during which time they participate in the field training portion of the hiring process. 

Field Training

Field training consists of progressive training, including orientation, basic training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and 20 weeks of the field training and evaluation process.

After field training, the new officer is assigned to a solo patrol under the guidance of a shift supervisor, and then given a final evaluation by the Field Training Commander.

Applicants who are already certified in the State of Iowa do not need to attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, but do participate in the other elements.