Selection Process

Written Examination

The pre-employment written examination will measure cognitive abilities that are necessary for effective performance as a police officer. The cognitive section includes problem-solving, reading comprehension, mathematics and writing ability. A Study Guide will be sent, by the City of Lincoln Human Resources Department, approximately 2 weeks prior to the test. Only those applicants who achieve a passing score will move on to the Physical Fitness Ability Test, which will be conducted the same day.

The Lincoln Police Personal History Statement must be notarized and completed prior to testing. It will be collected upon successful completion of the written exam. Failure to submit the Personal History Statement will result in disqualification. The required documents (such as transcripts, marriage licenses, etc.) will not be needed until the oral interview.

Physical Fitness Ability Test

Candidates who attain a passing score on the written examination will advance to the physical fitness ability testing that afternoon. The test consists of five events:

  • 120 yard shuttle run,
  • vertical jump
  • maximum push-ups
  • one minute sit-ups
  • 1.5 mile run/walk

Applicants must accumulate a minimum passing score of 30 points. Applicants who score below the 30 point level on any event have failed, and will be given a second opportunity to re-test on that event. All events will be scored immediately.

The entire process, both written and physical testing, lasts approximately six hours on each testing date.


Candidates who successfully complete the written exam and physical ability test will be scheduled for an oral interview. This interview will be assessed on dimensions of work history, education, financial responsibility, personal declarations and other interpersonal skills. Lincoln Police Department's academy is certified through the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center. We follow the same general admission requirements and certification standards when reviewing applicants.

Following the interview, candidates may be selected for additional testing. This testing will consist of an adult basic education test, drug screening, medical examination, psychological evaluation, and polygraph examination. Questions for the polygraph will be based on your personal history statement and supplemental questionnaire. The results of these tests are used to affirm assessments made during the initial interview. Candidates selected who successfully complete the final phase are offered employment with the Lincoln Police Department.