Hiring Process

Applicants interested in employment as a sworn Black Hawk County Deputy Sheriff must complete a multi-phase employment process which includes:

1. Complete an Application for Employment

All applicants will be initially evaluated based on the information included in the application only. Therefore, it is important to complete your online application accurately and thoroughly as it relates to the position requirements. Resumes, transcripts, certifications and other supporting documentation may be required for further consideration. Applicants considered best qualified will be asked to continue in the selection process.

An online application is required. To apply, submit:

1) online application at Black Hawk County Online

2) proof of education and/or required certification(s)

An eligible and qualified veteran may be entitled to preference in employment under Iowa Code §35C.1. A veteran is an individual who meets the definition set forth in Iowa Code §35C.1. In order to assert this preference a voluntary veteran's preference form must be included. Applicants will receive notifications by email.

Note: The application contains a required Supplemental Questionnaire. Your responses to these questions will assist in screening applications to determine who continues in the selection process. Responses should be informative and concise; not responding appropriately may eliminate you from consideration. Do not refer to a resume or other documentation.

2. Physical Agility (Fitness) Test

This test consists of four (4) sections:

  1. Sit and Reach test
  2. One minute sit-up test
  3. One minute push-up test
  4. Timed 1.5 mile run

You must pass all four sections of the physical agility (fitness) test in order to continue in the selection process. Results will be given to you immediately with notification if you can continue to the next phase of the testing process.

The following chart details the standards set by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy for the physical agility (fitness) testing. These standards are based on age and gender:


3. Written Examination (P.O.S.T.)

If you pass the physical agility (fitness) test, you are eligible to take the written examination.(The written test follows the physical agility test.) The four (4) part written examination consists of seventy-five (75) questions, comprised of: 

  • Mathematics
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Report Writing Skills

No prior law enforcement knowledge is needed to take this written examination.

You must score seventy percent (70%) on each individual section to pass the written examination.

If you have taken the Written Examination (P.O.S.T.) in the last six (6) months and have a passing score, you will have the option to use that test score. However, if you decide to try and better your written examination score by taking it again, your old score will be voided and your new score (passing or not passing) will be used.

The timed written examination will not exceed one hour and twenty-three minutes to complete.

The Civil Service Commission will give the Sheriff a list of applicants who passed both the Physical Agility (Fitness) Test and Written Examination.

4. Background Investigation

A thorough background investigation will be conducted on all individuals who pass both the Physical Agility (Fitness) Test and Written Examination.

5. Completion of Long Form Application

After the Background Investigation, you will be given a long form application to complete and return to the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office. Please note the return date the long form application must be returned by.

6. Conditional Offer of Employment

As a job vacancy occurs, the Sheriff will offer the position to a person on the certified list on the condition the applicant passes:

  • A physical test (including an eye exam and a doctor’s physical)
  • A drug screening test
  • A psychological examination (MMPI Test)

7. Polygraph Examination

Questions used in the administration of the polygraph test are taken from the documents the applicant fills out during the selection process. The questions are drawn from, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Educational experience
  • Employment experience
  • Personal health
  • Credit and debt history
  • Drug and alcohol use and abuse
  • Criminal history or activity
  • Driver’s license and traffic offense information
  • Sexual misconduct

8. MMPI Test (A psychological examination)

9. Certification of the Civil Service List

The Civil Service Commission will certify the top ten (10) applicants from the names supplied by the Black Hawk County Sheriff. Applicants who make the top ten list can be hired in any order at the discretion of the Black Hawk County Sheriff and Command Staff.

10. Interview with Sheriff’s Command Staff

The Sheriff’s Office will schedule a formal oral interview between you and the Sheriff’s Office Command Staff.

11. Physical Tests

  • A physical tests (including an eye exam and a doctor’s physical)
    1. Must have un-corrective vision of not less than 20/100 in both eyes, corrected to 20/20, and color vision consistent with the occupational demands of law enforcement.
    2. Must have normal hearing in each ear (hearing aids are acceptable if a candidate can demonstrate sufficient hearing proficiency to perform all necessary duties of a law enforcement officer).
  • A drug screening test

12. Re-Application, Re-Testing and Re-Evaluation

Candidates not appointed to probationary status (employment) will be allowed to re-apply, re-test and be re-evaluated provided he or she meets the general requirements of the Code of Iowa and the County.

Those candidates not appointed to probationary status will need to re-submit another formal application in order to receive information for the next testing period.

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