Decatur Police testing: applicant pool different than previous years


Nearly 200 Decatur Police Department applicants are waiting to hear their test results. Saturday the department wrapped up stage one of testing, the physical and written examinations.


There are seven open spots and 175 hopefuls lined up because they wanted to become a Decatur Police Officer. Brandon Gibson was one of those applicants.

"It's so competitive," Gibson said. But he's up to the challenge.

He passed the first part of testing, the physical tests.

"It was really simple actually," he said. "If you prepare, it's really simple."

Simple for some everyone attempted to pass tests in sit and reach, sit ups, bench press and running, each one dependent on their age and body weight.

For example, if you're a female between the ages of 20 and 29 you get three tries to lift one repetition of 58 percent of your body weight.

"At 30 [years old] I don't have to do as many sit ups," explained Decatur Police Department applicant Meredith Beard. "I don't have to reach as far in the sit and reach, stuff like that."

But expectations are just as high.

"If they can sell themselves to us, show us that they prepared themselves for a career in law enforcement through education and other experiences that may put them on top," explained Lt. Brad Sweeney with the Decatur Police Department.

He said this year's applicant pool is older and has more experience.

"Normally we see a whole lot of college graduates," Sweeney said.

Gibson was in the military. He's tested with several other departments but as for Decatur, "This is number one for me," he said.

And it's one step in a nine month long application process. Applicants also have to undergo extensive background checks, lie detector tests, interviews and more.

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