LIVE. SERVE. LOVE IOWA.

Scroll down to read through the steps involved in becoming a Polk County Detention Officer

Des Moines has blossomed into a vibrant metro that’s one of the fastest growing in the nation. But we remain firmly rooted in Midwestern values that make central Iowa a great place to live and raise a family. Respect, hard work and a more relaxed pace of life. With affordable living costs and low commute times, there’s no wonder why more people are calling Des Moines home. 

DES MOINES WAS VOTED

TOP 5

PLACES TO LIVE IN THE US.
PCSO IS IOWA’S

LARGEST

SHERIFF’S OFFICE.
DES MOINES IS RANKED

TOP 3

IN THE US FOR AFFORDABLE LIVING.

Steps to Your New Career

PHASE 1 | Apply

How to Apply

Submit Application and required documents.

  • Applications must be complete for processing.
  • Required documents must be turned in before the deadline.

After you have applied for the job, you will be screened for employment eligibility by our personnel department. If you make it through the initial screening, you will receive notification with instructions on the test scheduling listed in Phase 2.

Apply Now

PHASE 2 | Testing

The Test Criteria

If accepted, you will be invited to attend our Physical Agility Test, Written Examination and Fingerprinting. All three of these tests will be conducted on the same day.

Physical Agility Test

The physical agility test is a required standardized test. Please review the explanation for more information. Explanation >

Written Examination

The PCSO will accept passing Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) scores from tests taken up to 90 days before our written test date. Applicants with eligible POST scores on file will be contacted. Study Guide >

Fingerprinting/Photo

Fingerprint and photographs are typically done the day of the physical exam.

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PHASE 3 | Background & Polygraph Examination

Why This is Done

After successful completion of the tests listed in Phase 2, you will be scheduled for a polygraph examination. Once you’ve successfully completed the polygraph, investigators will begin a background investigation.

Polygraph Examination

The Polygraph Examination is a tool used to verify information submitted by applicants.

Background Investigation

The background investigation is utilized to confirm information listed on your application. Investigators will confirm employment, contact references, speak to neighbors and run a criminal history check on all applicants.

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PHASE 4 | Psychological Evaluation

What to Expect

After successful completion of your polygraph examination and background investigation, applicants will be scheduled to meet with a psychologists. Applicants will take an MMPI test and meet with a licensed psychologist.

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PHASE 5 | Health Exam

Exam Schedule

Upon the completion of Phase 4, eligible candidates will be scheduled a Health Exam appointment. During the Health Exam, the applicant will have a hearing and vision test to ensure minimum standards for employment are met.

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PHASE 6 | Civil Service Interview

What to Expect

The Polk County Civil Service Commission will interview eligible candidates to certify a hiring list.

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PHASE 7 | Command Staff Interview

What to Expect

All candidates placed on a certified list for hire will be interviewed by PCSO Command Staff.

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PHASE 8 | Offer of Employment

What to Expect

After receiving an offer of employment, candidates will be required to submit to a drug screen and physical capacity test.

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Are you Ready?

Apply Now