Steps in Application & Hiring Process

Members of the Honor Guard pictured in front of the court house

Application: The first step in the process is to fill out an application. When the hiring process is open, the applications can be found at City Hall (201 W. Poplar). City Hall is across the street from the Health Department and Fire Department. Parking is on the street. They can also be found online.

  • Candidates must be 21 years old but not older than 35.
  • Candidates must have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent. 
  • Candidates must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Candidates must be a U.S. Citizen or authorized to work in the United States. 
  • Bonus points added for military or OPOTA certification. 

Candidates must bring copies of paperwork that proves the above necessities. Bring:

  • Copy of High School diploma or GED (and college / higher education diploma if applicable) 
  • Copy of DD-214 for Veterans credit (if applicable)
  • Copy of your Peace Officer Certification for the State of Ohio (if applicable)
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or U.S. Citizenship 

Fill out and turn in this application out before the deadline. Applicants get knocked out of the process because they fail to do so. If choosing to mail the completed application, candidates can send the completed application to: The City of Sidney, Attention Lynn Shuster, 201 W. Poplar Street, Sidney OH 45365. They can also be emailed to They can be faxed to 937-498-8160.

Written Test: The written test may be completed before the application. The Sidney Police Department utilizes the National Testing Network. Candidates may use test scores gained at this test for multiple departments. Candidates are responsible for scheduling their own test and making sure their scores are sent to the City of Sidney. You may find registration for this test at This may involve: 

  • Completion of the NTN application process 
  • Completion of the personal history questionnaire 
  • Opportunity to take online practice tests
  • Scheduling your own convenient test time (applicant is responsible for exam fee)
  • Upon completion of the NTN examination, electing to have scores sent to the City of Sidney

You must score a 70% or better on all portions to be considered. The better the score on this test the higher the candidates rank in our process. This test is not like some written police exams. It mainly consists of video scenarios and candidates must pick the best response to the videos. 

Physical Fitness Test: This step knocks out many applicants because they do not train well enough in advance. The current test involves a 300 meter run in 66 seconds, bench press 50% of body weight or 20 push ups in a minute, 24 sit ups in a minute, a 14 inch vertical jump, and a 1.5 mile run in 15:15. Police officer candidates must pass all five physical fitness tests. Failure to pass any one of the tests will disqualify the candidates. The Sidney Police Department is in the process of changing our physical fitness test to become an officer and for existing officers. Look for changes coming around 2023. To see more on the new test see this article .

The physical fitness test is often the first interaction members of our department have with candidates. Your attitude, attire, and how well you do are noted and discussed by our department members. First impressions are very important and your first impression will not be in the interview, it will be here. 

Background: This consists of an extensive questionnaire about the candidate’s background. Questions involve alcohol consumption, drug consumption, any crimes the candidate has committed, and many more things. It’s very important to not lie on this background. If answers on this background, the application, the polygraph, and the interview do not line up a candidate will be eliminated from the process every time. The disqualification guidelines are: age at the time the behavior occurred, passage of time, patterns of past behavior, severity of behavior, relevance of past behavior to public safety employment, aggravating and mitigating factors, and other relevant considerations. A candidate’s qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis using a totality-of-the-circumstances framework.  

Polygraph: This step involves the city scheduling a polygraph examination for the candidate. Candidates are tested by an outside company. It is very important not to lie on the polygraph. The examiner will relate important information gleaned during the polygraph to the police department (for hiring purposes only) and will also report whether the candidate showed signs of deception. Just like in the background, usually candidates will only be disqualified for the same reasons they would in the background or they lie. 

Interview: This is an extremely important part of the hiring process. Police interviews are not the same as most other job interviews. Ours is a panel interview consisting of the Chief of Police, all three captains, the head of H.R., and the Records office supervisor. Candidates will do well to research police interviews and prepare ahead of time. This will have a big impact on if you are seen to be a good fit for our department or not. Police interviews are formal and candidates would be wise to dress professionally. 

Civil Service Commission Review: If you make it to the top 25% or top 10 candidates you will be considered for employment. This is based off your storing on the video portion of the NTN test.  

Conditional Offer of Employment: Conditional offers will be made to those that the department and the City Manager think will be the best fit for our department. This offer is contingent upon successfully completing the next steps. 

Psychological Assessment: Candidates will be sent to an outside agency to complete a psychological assessment. This is meant to indicate behavioral and personality traits that are not suited for the law enforcement profession, touching on racism, an exaggerated sense of self, anger problems, and more. It is very important that candidates not lie on this test. It is designed to detect deception and if deception is indicated, the candidate will not proceed on in the process. 

Medical Examination / Drug Screen: The candidate will be sent to our city doctor for an examination that looks for major health reasons that would render the candidate unable to perform the job. These things include insufficient eyesight, insufficient hearing, major heart problems, and more. A drug screen will also be conducted. 

FBI/BCI Background Check: This check runs the candidate through Ohio and the FBI database to ensure that they are not nor have they been in any criminal trouble that they otherwise failed to disclose. 

Hiring: Once all these steps are completed successfully the candidate will be sworn in with our department. If the candidate is certified through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy then they will begin field training. If they are not, they will be sent to get their certification at a police academy. Typically candidates are sent to the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy (OSP Academy). This is a rigorous, paramilitary training academy. Candidates live in the academy Monday through Friday and return home on the weekends. If this academy is not available then candidates will be sent to whatever academy is available to the city. Candidates will be paid to attend the academy. 

If there are any questions throughout the process candidates can contact the Chief of Police.