How long between applying and getting hired? Typically three to four months.
Why does the hiring process take so long? It takes months to get hired because a lot of the steps in our process are handled by outside agencies (the written test, the psychological, the polygraph, the medical, and the FBI background, and ultimately the academy). We must schedule around the outside agencies’ schedules. These outside agencies provide checks and balances to our own agency when hiring new officers. Most police departments around the country, unfortunately, have long application processes. The policing job is one that involves giving a single person a lot of power and ultimately, the choice to take another person’s life for a job. It is of utmost importance that we get the best candidates we can.
Why is the Sidney Police Department always hiring? Our department is currently experiencing a high volume of scheduled retirements. We hired a lot of people at the same time 20-30 years ago and many are retiring now. Many of these people retiring hold promotional positions or specialty positions. This creates a lot of opportunities for new employees to get promoted quickly at this time.
Is there an application fee? Not for our application. There is a fee to take the test from the National Testing Network. More information on their testing can be found at www.nationaltestingnetwork.com.
Can I apply if I'm out of state? Yes. The Sidney Police Department will do its best to schedule steps in the application process together. The application itself can be sent over email, the written test can be taken at a National Testing Network location of the applicant's choosing, and as outside agencies allow, the psychological, physical, background, and polygraph can be scheduled as close as possible in date to each other.
Can I apply multiple times? Yes, you can. Typically if an applicant makes it all the way through to the interview and is not hired they wont get hired if they apply again. Usually there are issues that are found in the interview process with the candidate's history, the candidate's personality, or the candidate was simply not competitive enough.
Can I immediately start a specialty position after being hired? Typically no. It takes the average officer two years of working a regular road shift position before getting into a specialty position at the Sidney Police Department. This is to ensure an officer has the basic foundations of the job prior to specializing in something. It’s commonly said in the law enforcement profession that it takes about five years to get comfortable with basics of the job.
How soon can I be promoted to Sergeant? We offer promotions as soon as five years experience.
How long can I hold a specialty position? Positions like detective and community resource officer are five year positions. Specialties like T.R.T., instructor positions, hostage negotiators, forensic investigators, bike patrol, and crash reconstructionists are as long as the officer chooses as long as they continue to meet the requirements.
What level of schooling do I need? High school diploma or GED. If you have a bachelor's degree or an associates degree in criminal justice there are monetary benefits. See the benefits tab.
Is there a height or weight requirement? No, but applicants must pass our physical.
Can I apply if I’ve smoked weed in the past? Yes. As long as candidates are honest about their past and the behavior has not been recent or concerning then it usually does not deter them from becoming police officers at our department.
Can I apply if I haven’t been to the police academy / don’t have my OPTA certification? Yes, you can. If you are hired the Sidney Police Department will pay you while you are in the academy.
Does the Sidney Police Department accept transfers? Yes, but they must meet all the same requirements as other applicants.
Can I pick which shift I want to be on? Shift bids are done on a seniority basis. It depends on the openings and what shifts senior officers choose. First shift is 0700-1500 hours, second shift is 1500-2300 hours, and third shift is 2300-0700 hours. There are two split shifts offered, one from 1100-1900 hours and one from 1900-0300 hours.
How long are shifts? Officers work eight hour shifts. They have eight days off a month.
Can I pick which academy I want to go to? Not after you’re hired. The Sidney Police Department will generally send you to the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy. If that academy is unavailable the department will pick the next academy that is both close and putting on a class within our time frame. Employees will be paid to attend the academy.
Is there a requirement to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if I work at the Sidney Police Department? No
Is the department still facing COVID-19 issues and any issues surrounding the race issues brought to light in 2020? While COVID-19 continues to be present, the only way it impacts officers is their quarantine per the CDC guidelines should they contract it or are exposed to a known case. The race issues of 2020 did not have a huge impact on the Sidney Police Department. A lot of our community is supportive of our department. We pride ourselves on having stringent standards when hiring and applicants are sent through psychological testing to make sure candidates do not show racist tendencies.
If I have a juvenile record will that prevent me from becoming a police officer? Generally, no. Most juvenile records are sealed.
Can I live anywhere I want? We require officers live in Shelby county or adjacent counties after they are off probationary status.
Are there training opportunities? We offer a large number of training opportunities. Officers receive an average of 50 hours a year.
How do officers balance work life and home life? Different officers manage things differently. Some officers with young children choose to work third shift so they are home during the day. Some officers choose to take more overtime once their children are out of the house. Vacation bids are done based on seniority.
What kind of time off is offered? Officers get eight days a month off. They also earn vacation time, sick time, and four personal days a year. Officers also have the option of taking overtime and either cashing it in or making time-and-a-half comp time.
What is the tattoo policy? Officers can have tattoos but they cannot be offensive. Tattoos on the neck, head, ears, face, hands and fingers are generally prohibited but concealment can be spoken about with the Chief on a case-by-case basis.
Do I have to pay for my own uniform? No. Once hired you'll receive a uniform allowance. Dry cleaning is also provided.
What mental health help is offered? Not only does the city provide the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) which can assist with a few free counseling sessions and help for drug or alcohol addiction, the Sidney Police Department is unique in that a counselor is brought in free of charge for employees to speak to every other year. These sessions are private and are paid for by the City of Sidney but the Chief and city have no access to what is said. This is an effort to assist police officers with the tragic and devastating things they see on the job. This can also assist with other stressors officers are facing in their home and personal life.
Can I become a cop if I’m medicated for mental illness? As a part of our application process you will speak to a psychologist and a doctor. If they and the Chief agree that your medication / diagnosis will not impact your ability to do the job then it will not prevent you from becoming a police officer.
How do I know Sidney Police Department will be a good fit for me? The best way would be to sign up for our open ride-along program. This will provide an opportunity to meet the officers you will potentially be working with. This will also give you an opportunity to see the kind of calls that officers take on a day to day basis and what kind of traffic enforcement we do here. Making sure you're a good fit is a priority for your future satisfaction with the job.