Police Academy Interns - Southwestern Illinois College

ILETSB Intern Program

Now Accepting Intern Applications!

This program has been developed in response to law enforcement administrators seeking a pool of trained and certified candidates available for service. It enables civilians seeking a career in law enforcement to attend basic law enforcement training at their own expense. This is a unique opportunity to attend a state law enforcement academy. Interns are integrated into classes with sworn officers and receive the same training.

Session 154-Intern Applicants

Important Dates to Remember (Any dates are tentative and subject to ILETSB approval.)

Application Deadline Friday, June 28, 2024
POWER test, Cognitive and Psychological Testing Saturday, July 6, 2024
Interviews and Drug Testing Friday, July 26, 2024
Session Start Date Monday, August 19, 2024
Session Graduation Friday, December 6, 2024

Admission Procedures for Law Enforcement Intern Training Program (Self Funded)

The Intern application process is currently only available at Southwestern Illinois Police Academy. This program is for Illinois residents only. Applicants must have valid Illinois driver’s license and Illinois Firearms Owner Identification card. The following information has been designed to help you better understand the selection process and what you can expect during academy training.

Selection Procedures:

Program requirements are strict. There are three steps in the selection process. You must successfully pass each step in order to proceed to eventual academy attendance.

Step I) Application Process:

Return your completed application.

Your application will be reviewed for verification of the following minimum requirements:

  1. At least 21 years of age at start of training
  2. A High School Diploma or G.E.D.
  3. United States citizenship
  4. Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card (F.O.I.D.)
  5. A Valid Illinois Drivers License
    – Drivers License revocation is automatic disqualification
    – Drivers License suspension will be evaluated
  6. No felony convictions
  7. 50 ILCS 705/6(e) No applicant will be admitted to a certified academy unless the applicant is a person of good character and has not been convicted of a felony offense or a crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of this state or any other state which if committed in this state would be punishable as a felony or a crime of moral turpitude. The Board may appoint investigators who shall enforce the duties conferred upon the Board by this Act.
  8. Under Federal Law, conviction of any offense as a result of a domestic violence incident prohibits possession of a firearm, resulting in an automatic ineligibility for hire as a police officer.

Applications will be returned for any missing or incomplete information.

Once the application has been verified as complete, with all minimum requirements met, a background investigation will be initiated. This will include an academic, financial, personal, employment, driver’s license, residency and criminal history, as well as a reference check.

Questions and Answers

When should I apply for the program?

Courses will be scheduled throughout the year. It takes several months to complete the application process. Your application should be filed by the deadline (see Dates to Remember) prior to the starting date of the class in which you wish to enroll.

What should I do after I mail my application in?

You must request an official copy of your transcripts from any colleges or universities that you have attended and have them sent to Southwestern Illinois Police Academy. You must also apply for your F.O.I.D. card at this time.  If you currently have a F.O.I.D. card, verify that it will not expire during selection process or training.

How will I know if my application has been accepted?

If all initial requirements are met, you will be notified in writing of the date and time for the following tests and procedures: the P.O.W.E.R. Test (Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report), psychological and cognitive tests as well as fingerprinting and drug screening.

What do I need to do before I take the tests?

You will need to verify that you have health insurance with Emergency Room coverage. Coverage must be effective on the day of your P.O.W.E.R. Test, as well as throughout academy training. You will need to bring a copy of your insurance card as well as the Proof of Health Insurance form (attached to the application) with you on the day of the P.O.W.E.R. test.

In addition, you will be responsible for scheduling a Physical Examination with your personal physician. The purpose of this examination is for the doctor to make an assessment that you are physically fit to participate in the P.O.W.E.R. test as well as academy training. This examination should be done within sixty days of your P.O.W.E.R. Test. Please wait to receive notification of your P.O.W.E.R. Test date before making your appointment. A Fitness Examination form is attached to the application for your doctor to complete. Please make sure this is completed and signed and bring it with you on the day of your P.O.W.E.R. Test.

Step II) Tests and Procedures:

As part of the applicant process, there will be five test/procedures. These include the P.O.W.E.R. test, a psychological test, a cognitive test, drug screening, and fingerprinting. There will be fees associated with these tests (see Costs). The Cognitive Test and Psychological test will be used to measure important skills necessary to perform successfully in an entry level law enforcement position, such as deputy or patrol officer.  All of the following tests will be administered on a Saturday. The tests will be given at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville and will take a minimum of eight hours to complete.

 Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report (P.O.W.E.R.) Test:

An applicant must pass each of the four basic P.O.W.E.R Test Sections:

  • Sit & Reach Test
  • 1 Minute Sit Up Test
  • 1 Repetition Maximum Bench Press
  • 1.5 Mile Run

The P.O.W.E.R. Test will be the first test given, and will last approximately 3 1/2 hours. The cost for the P.O.W.E.R. Test is included in your initial application fee. Failure to pass any section of this test will prevent an applicant from proceeding to the next step in the application process and no further fees will be assessed. Click on any P.O.W.E.R Test link for detailed information regarding each section of the test as well as the required performance standards. You should begin a physical conditioning program at this time in order to pass the P.O.W.E.R. Test.


You will be fingerprinted as part of the background investigation.

Drug Screening:

Results will be made available to the Illinois Law Enforcement Intern Training Program. Should there be a positive result, you will be contacted for additional clarification. Non-satisfactory clarification will result in denial to the Intern Program.


This is used to test arithmetic, reading, grammar, and report writing skills. A minimum score of 70% in each category is required for admission.

Psychological Evaluation:

The California Psychological Inventory, a written test, will be evaluated to determine if you have the basic psychological characteristics suitable for a career in law enforcement.  A positive recommendation from Standard and Associates, Inc. is required.

Step III: Interview Process

Oral Interview Panel:

Individuals who successfully complete all of the tests in Phase II will then be scheduled for an oral interview (Phase III). Each applicant will be interviewed by a group of law enforcement professionals. Providing all previous selection procedures were passed satisfactorily, you will be notified of the time, date and location for the interview in writing. All interviews will be held at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. Interviews will be approximately 45 Minutes in length and the panel will look at your background history in addition to your interview responses in order to determine your qualifications for admittance into the Intern Training Program.

All examination and assessment results will be used in determining your eligibility and ranking for admission into the training program.

How will I know if I am selected for the Intern Training Program?

All applicants will receive written confirmation of acceptance or denial into the program. If you are selected, you will receive detailed information on when and where to report for training. If classes are full, you will be scheduled for the next available course, and carry your standing on the eligibility list with you. Should you be unable to attend in the event of extenuating circumstances, a decision regarding rescheduling of a training class will be made on an individual basis.

Is there a refund policy?

There are no refunds for any tests or procedures. In the event that a student must drop out of the academy, tuition will be reimbursed on a pro-rated basis.

The Academy:

Basic training is the equivalent of 640 hours . All training will be at Southwestern Illinois Police Academy, and academy rules and regulations will apply at all times.

Classes will be Monday through Friday, during the day, as well as occasional evening classes. There will be a ten minute break between each class with 45 minutes allotted for lunch. You will also need to allow time for homework in the evenings. Your classes will be in a variety of subjects. There will be classroom as well as hands-on training to provide basic skills and techniques necessary to be successful in the law enforcement field. The academy will provide all weapons and ammunition that you will need during the course.

What is the dress code at the Academy?

You will be issued classroom (polo shirts) and athletic clothing. You will furnish your own athletic shoes according to academy specifications.

Is there an attendance policy?

Students must complete all 640 hours of training. In the event of illness, injury, or other emergencies which cause absenteeism, an assessment and plan will be made for making up missed instruction. In the event of excessive absenteeism, for whatever reason, the student may be dismissed from the academy.

What does it take to graduate?

To graduate from the program, an overall average of 70% must be maintained for the entire course. There will be no exceptions. In addition, the student must successfully attain a 70% proficiency in use of firearm and maintain a course notebook. Once you have completed your training requirements successfully, you will be eligible to take the State Certification Exam on the final day of class. This is a 200 item examination that is a requirement for all law enforcement officers. You will be notified of the results in writing.

A graduation ceremony will be conducted. At this time you will receive your Intern Training Certificate. Each intern is encouraged to invite family members to attend the ceremony.

How long is my State Certification valid?

(50 ILCS 708/20)
Sec. 20. Certification; transition course.

The Board shall require law enforcement interns to undertake, at a minimum, the same training requirements as established for law enforcement officers under the Illinois Police Training Act. The Board certificate reserved for law enforcement officers shall not be awarded until the law enforcement intern is employed, has successfully completed the State certification exam, and meets the requirements established by the Board. The Law Enforcement Intern Certificate shall be issued to the trainee following the successful completion of the course. The graduate law enforcement intern, if not employed as a law enforcement officer within 2 years after issuance of the law enforcement intern certificate, must then meet the requirements of the Illinois Police Training Act upon employment. A graduate law enforcement intern who is not employed within one year, but is hired within 2 years after completing the course, must successfully complete a transition course approved by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board and again successfully complete the law enforcement State certification exam in order to obtain the Board’s certificate reserved for law enforcement officers. The transition course shall consist of a minimum of 80 hours and shall be conducted at a Board certified academy.
(Source: P.A. 90‑259, eff. 7‑30‑97; 91‑357, eff. 7‑29‑99.)

Once you have graduated, you may begin your employment search. It is recommended that you develop a portfolio containing your resume and Intern Training Certificate, which indicates that you have successfully passed the State Certification Examination. All of this will be very beneficial to any agency to which you apply.  Keep in mind that hiring standards and selection procedures may vary according to individual agencies.

Attendance of the Law Enforcement Intern Program does not guarantee employment with a law enforcement agency, however having completed the required courses as well as the State Certification Examination will allow you to confidently present yourself to a law enforcement agency of your choice. We expect a very high employment placement rate for Intern Graduates. It is advantageous for police agencies to hire Intern Graduates. This is a unique opportunity to prepare yourself with the best training available in the law enforcement field.

We hope to see you in the academy!

Program Cost 


All tuition, housing costs and fees set by the ILETSB are subject to change.

Fees includes books, paper supplies, physical training shirts and shorts, handgun and shotgun ammunition.

Financial Aid Available.  

Additional Costs

Application and P.O.W.E.R. Test

Psychological, Cognitive, Drug Tests, Background Investigation and Fingerprinting

You will be required to turn in two separate checks or money orders on the day of the P.O.W.E.R. Test:

  • Prior to the P.O.W.E.R. Test – check or money order for $100.00 made out to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
  • Prior to the written cognitive and psychological test – check or money order for $350.00 made out to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Cash will not be accepted.

You will be responsible for arranging and paying for the following services related to selection procedures and academy attendance:

  • College Transcripts
  • Physician Certification Examination
  • FOID Card
  • Health Insurance.

Contact information:

Deputy Director

Brandon Dugger
Telephone: 618-641-4912
Address: 2300 W. Main Street, Belleville, IL 62226