Lateral Hire Program

All candidates for the position of Police Officer wanting to attend the Lateral Program must meet the following minimum qualifications in order to apply:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be at least 21 years of age at commission
  • be in excellent physical condition
  • no felony convictions
  • may not have more than one DWI conviction; and no DWI conviction in past three years
  • may not have been at fault in more than one traffic accident during the past twelve (12) months
  • meet vision and hearing standards
  • no objectionable tattoos and no tattoos visible while on duty (i.e. can be covered with long sleeve shirt), or when representing the SPD in an official capacity, unless approved by the Chief of Police
  • may not have used a controlled substance illegally within the last three years
  • Currently certified as a law enforcement officer. If not currently certified in the state of Missouri, with a Missouri P.O.S.T. Class A Peace Officer License, candidates may be allowed to complete written, physical and oral testing. However, Missouri Class A certification must be obtained before a background investigation will be conducted. (Contact Missouri P.O.S.T. at 573-751-4905 to find out how to get your Class A or visit the Missouri P.O.S.T. website).
  • Must have a minimum of two years full-time sworn police experience in any state, within the last five years. Primary duties must include responding to calls for service, conducting preliminary and/or follow-up investigations of crimes, responding to traffic accidents, and apprehending, detaining and arresting suspects.

Testing and Selection Procedure

The testing and selection procedure includes the following elements: a physical agility test, written exam, oral interview, background investigation, polygraph examination, pre-employment drug testing, post-offer medical examination and psychological evaluation.

Physical agility events and standards are reviewed periodically and may be modified as deemed appropriate, without prior notice.

Physical agility testing will be a job simulation physical agility course. Candidates will perform a series of linked exercises that simulate the necessary job functions of the Police Officer position and shall include but not be limited to the following:
  • 3-foot wall climb
  • 6-foot wall climb
  • 100 meter sprint
  • dummy drag
  • pushing a vehicle 15 feet
  • stair climb
  • subject resistance
  • trigger pull
  • vertical jump
  • window climb
The above series of job simulated exercises will take place on a continuous 1/2-mile course where the candidate will run or continuously move throughout the course. Candidates must successfully engage all tasks associated with each exercise on the course. For Lateral Hire candidates, the 1/2-mile course must be completed in a maximum time of 5:54.

Preparing for Physical Agility Testing

This test shall be considered physically demanding and it is vitally important for applicants to properly prepare for the test. The following are suggestions applicants can use to adequately prepare for the test.

Prep Mentally & Physically

The applicant should prepare both physically and mentally for the test. An example of mentally preparing for this test would include having a positive mindset prior to and during the test. It is recommended that applicants should have recovered at least 24-48 hours from any other physical activity prior to this testing.

Come Properly Hydrated & Nourished

The applicant should also hydrate properly, at least 24 hours prior to participating in this testing. It may be helpful to also consume a light meal 1-2 hours prior to the physical agility testing, as the applicant should have adequate energy levels to help facilitate a better performance. Proper rest prior to testing is also recommended (7-8 hours of sleep).

These tips will help manage any risks associated with testing performance during extreme or inclement weather conditions. 

Appointment to Lateral Hire Program

Applicants must pass every phase of the testing and selection process in order to be considered eligible for appointment to the Lateral Hire Program. If a candidate fails to meet the physical agility standards for the Lateral Hire program but all of his/her scores meet the Regular Academy standards, the candidate may opt to be considered for the Regular Police Academy. Note: If a candidate opts to be considered for the Regular Police Academy, he/she is not eligible for placement on the pay scale higher than a step one, which is entry level pay, and he/she will be required to attend the normal 6-month academy training. 

Written Exam

The City of Springfield uses the National Police Officer Selection Test for the written exam phase of the selection process for Police Officer. This test assesses the following skills: Arithmetic, Reading, Comprehension, Grammar and Writing. A minimum score of 70% is required to pass the exam.  

Lateral Hire Pay

Starting pay for lateral hires is discretionary and based on numerous factors including, but not limited to, years of law enforcement service, law enforcement assignments, special training and agency size. The pay range for Lateral Hires effective July 1, 2016 is $37,024.00 - $48,110.40.
Step 2 $37,024.00                         
Step 3 $38,896.00
Step 4 $40,435.20
Step 5 $42,078.40
Step 6 $43,908.80
Step 7 $45,843.20
Step 8 $48,110.40