The Village of Forest Park Board of Fire and Police Commissioners will offer an examination to create a list of persons eligible to be hired as an entry level probationary police officer, the board announced online last week.

“The department does anticipate at least one retirement,” said Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas. “We always have to have a current list of people who are qualified to be offered a job.” Aftanas said the list usually lasts two years. “Our current list is expiring,” he said.

“We hold an exam every two years regardless of whether we anticipate any openings or not. We always have to maintain a list just in case,” he said.

A Forest Park officer’s starting salary is $53,589.92. The department has 39 sworn officers.

Applicants must apply online or by mail to take the test by 4 p.m. on Friday, August 2. The test is administered by Chicago company Stanard & Assoc. and registration can be found on the website A Paypal application fee of $30 is required.

Applicants must also have a certificate showing they have completed a Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report (P.O.W.E.R.) exam within the past year. These can be obtained through the Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA) which holds its next test July 19 or at Triton College where the next test will be held July 20.

Aftanas said the minimum age to take the police exam is 20, but new officers can’t start work until they’re 21. Applicants must have two years of college toward either an associates or bachelor’s degree. A criminal justice major is not required, Aftanas said. They must also have a driver’s license. It goes without saying that applicants cannot have a felony conviction on their criminal record, nor any “crime of moral turpitude.”

“After they take the written exam and if they are chosen to be in the pool, they are interviewed by the board of fire and police,” Aftanas said. “They will do several interviews, and out of those who pass the interviews a list is formed.”

Following that are polygraph and psychological exams, a medical exam, including drug screening, a physical agility test and background investigation, Aftanas said.

If an offer is made, the Forest Park police department will pay to send the candidate to the police academy for 12 to 14 weeks with pay.

After that, the rookie officers are assigned to field training officers every four months for an 18 month probationary period.

“They are placed with a field training officer to learn the process we follow here in Forest Park, our paperwork, computer system and court procedures,” Aftanas said.

A mandatory orientation meeting will take place Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. in the lower level at Village Hall and will explain the process, including the different examinations candidates must pass.

The exam itself takes place the morning of Aug. 17 at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

According to the fire and police board website, a preliminary list of candidates based on written test scores will be chosen by Aug. 26. A final eligibility list should be ready by Sept. 9 and oral interviews will start in October and November.

Aftanas said candidates should be able to start the hiring process on short notice.

For more information see the website here:

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...