Lincoln police department application process

Your first step toward becoming a Lincoln police officer is completing the online application. Applications are open year-round and are available on the City of Lincoln jobs website or Once we receive your application, we’ll review it to make sure you meet the basic academy admission criteria established by the Nebraska Crime Commission (see for more information). We may also check your criminal history and driving record to make sure there’s nothing there that would disqualify you. Everyone who meets the basic admission criteria will advance to Step 2. You will be contacted by a member of our staff and informed whether you are advancing.

When we contact you to let you know you’re advancing to Step 2, we will schedule a date for you to participate in the three-part assessment battery. Assessments are typically held once each month, with a weekend option every other month. The assessment takes place over two days, and you’ll need to be available both days unless there are extenuating circumstances. The assessment battery is progressive, meaning you must reach the minimum score on each part to advance to the next. The three-part battery consists of:

  • Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
    The TABE is required by the State of Nebraska to measure your ability to read and write English. The test takes approximately 3 hours and includes two reading comprehension sections and a language section. If you have already passed the TABE at the 11th grade level or higher and can provide proof of your passing scores, we’ll waive this part of the assessment and you’ll automatically advance to the Physical Ability Test. Sample TABE questions are available at:
  • Physical Ability Test (PAT)
    The PAT is required by the State of Nebraska to assess your physical fitness level and make sure you’re physically capable of performing essential job tasks necessary for certification as a police officer. The PAT will take place immediately after the TABE. We provide
    transportation to and from the testing location. More detailed information and training tips for the PAT are available at
  • Panel Interview
    The panel interview allows us to evaluate your potential for success as a Lincoln police officer. This is a business professional interview, so be sure to dress and act accordingly. The interview is structured, meaning you will be asked the same questions as every other applicant. We’ll ask you a mix of general interview questions and scenario-based questions, and your answers will be evaluated by a panel of current LPD employees. We’ll assess you on things like your education, qualifications, values, interpersonal skills, judgement, stress management, and understanding of LPD and the job of a police officer. You will also be assessed on your overall performance. After the interview, the panel will make a recommendation on whether you should advance to Step 3 of the hiring process. We’ll notify you of the final decision within 10 days.

After we notify you that you’re moving to Step 3, we’ll send you detailed instructions for the background investigation. You’ll need to complete an online Personal History Statement (PHS) and gather the following documents:

  • Birth certificate or other official proof of birth
  • Social Security card
  • Valid driver’s license
  • High school transcripts
  • High school diploma
  • College transcripts
  • College diploma
  • Marriage certificate (for each marriage)
  • Divorce decree/annulment (for each dissolved marriage)
  • Military DD214
  • Any restraining or protection orders issued on your behalf or against you
  • Driver’s abstract from each state where you have held a license

You won’t have to submit these documents until you advance to Step 3, but some of them may take time for you to find, so it’s a good idea to start gathering them as soon as possible.
The PHS covers all aspects of your life including education, work history, family history, past criminal activity, driving history, personal references, and more. On paper, the PHS is approximately 40 pages. It is your responsibility to make sure the PHS is complete before you submit it. We aren’t able to start your background investigation until we receive your completed PHS and all of the supporting documents, and we’ll ask you to have them submitted within 14 days of our request.
Once we complete enough of your background investigation to make an informed decision about you, we’ll review all the information from the hiring process and decide whether you’re eligible to be hired. The captain of the Education & Personnel Unit makes this decision. If we decide you’re eligible for hire, you will move on to Step 4.

Once you move to Step 4, we’ll place you in the hiring eligibility pool and, if we have open positions, you may receive a conditional offer of employment. Receiving a conditional offer means we want you to work with us, but we have a few more tests for you. After you accept your conditional offer, you’ll be scheduled for a medical exam with a drug test, a psychological evaluation, and a polygraph to verify that you’ve been honest with us throughout the process. Once you successfully complete these last three evaluations, the chief of police will review your entire file and make a final hiring decision. If you’re successful, we’ll add you to the list for our next academy class.