Becoming a Police Officer for the Sterling Police Department

The City of Sterling Fire and Police Commission administers the hiring process for the Sterling Police Department.

The Sterling Police Department’s number one goal is to protect and serve the community at the highest standard possible, and we believe that starts with our police officers. All our officers are passionate about the community and understand that their jobs go so much further than the day-to-day operations of the department. Every day is a chance to make an impact and directly affect the residents of Sterling.


Applicants must pass a written test, oral interview, background and character investigation, polygraph examination, psychological examination, medical exam (including drug screen), and physical ability exam (POWER test). A Police Officer Eligibility List is compiled. Candidates are hired from the eligible list.

When testing is conducted, the Sterling Fire and Police Commission will post a notice on the City's website and Facebook page.


To apply to become a police officer, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  • Citizenship: Must be a citizen of the United States at the time of filing formal application.
  • Residence: Must be a resident of the State of Illinois at time of filing application. Residence in the City of Sterling is not required but residency within a 30-minute response time is required within 1 year of employment.
  • Age: Applicants must be at least twenty (20) years of age, but shall not appointed until said applicant reaches twenty-one (21) years of age. Applicants must be under thirty-five (35) years of age (unless exempt from age limitation, ILCS 5/10-2.1-6).
  • Driver’s License: A valid driver’s license is required at the time of application.
  • Education: A high school diploma or its equivalent is required.
  • Vision: Visual acuity must be 20/20 or correctable to 20/20. Contact lenses are permitted with the above requirements.

General Information

The City of Sterling offers a benefits package that will protect and improve your physical, financial, and emotional well-being. This includes:

  • Working Hours: Patrol Officers work twelve (12) hours shifts (7am-7pm and 7pm-7am). Officers are assigned to shifts depending on department needs.
  • Competitive base salary: Starting salary - $58,971.08 (as of 5/1/2023), Top Patrol Salary - $79,150.20 (as of 5/1/2023).
  • Health, Dental, and Prescription: The City of Sterling offers an excellent health plan to all full-time employees.
  • Vacation: A new officer will accrue 80 hours of vacation after completing one (1) year of employment.
  • Sick Leave: Sick leave is accrued at 8 hours per month.
  • Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Police Pension Fund: Individuals who are accepted into the pension fund are eligible to retire pursuant to the benefits of 40 ILCS 5/3-111. Both the participant and the City contribute to the pension plan.
  • Uniforms: All newly appointed officers will be provided with all necessary uniforms and equipment paid for by the department.
  • Opportunities for Career Advancement: In addition to operating in a full-time designated capacity, the Sterling Police Department identifies qualified officers for the following specialized assignments:
    • Field Training Officer
    • Detective
    • School Resource Officer
    • Breathalyzer Operator
    • Bicycle Patrol
    • Firearms Instructor
    • BATF Officer (Drug Task Force)
    • ILEAS Team Member
    • Chaplain Coordinator
    • Control Tactics Instructor
    • Taser Instructor
    • BOLO Instructor
    • CPR Instructor
    • Child Safety Seat Technician
    • Elderly Service Officer
    • Juvenile Officer
    • ALICE Instructor
    • SWAT Team Member

Application Information

Testing date will be announced once current list is exhausted.

Application - New Police Officer


Please email or call 815-632-6600.