Police Recruitment Process


So you’re interested in becoming a Topeka Police Officer? The first thing you will need to do is
register your information with the City of Topeka Human Resources Department. Registering will allow us to notify you of upcoming testing dates for the Police Officer Physical Ability Test (POPAT) and written Civil Service examination. There are no filing fees.
Register for the next examination or contact Officer Vidal Campos at 785-368-2419, vcampos@topeka.org, or Michele Smith at 785-368-3765, msmith@topeka.org.


Physical Ability Test/Written Examination

Members of the Police Department administer the Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT with oversight by the Civil Service Commission). This test is administered immediately after the written test and only those candidates who pass the written test move on to the POPAT. This test is designed to test your physical ability to perform the essential job functions of a patrol officer to include the pursuing and subduing of a fleeing adult male suspect. The test requires you to complete the following stations:

  1. A mobility and agility run for a distance of 440 yards. Requires completion of 6 laps through a figure-eight mobility course. Requires running up and down a five-step stairway, sharp turns, adjustment of stride lengths over 18 obstacles, and jumps of short distances.
  2. Pushing and pulling 80 pounds of resistance on a power training machine
  3. Performing squat thrusts and climbing over a three-foot vault rail
    • Total time limit of 4 minutes and 15 seconds for combined items 1, 2, and 3
  4. Lifting and carrying 80 pounds for 50 feet in 35 seconds.
  5. Trigger pull of a handgun to test grip strength. Requires pulling the trigger of a standard issue 9MM semi-automatic handgun a total of 12 times with strong and weak hand in 15 seconds.

The POPAT is administered and certified by a designee of the Topeka Civil Service Commission. Members of the Police Department assist both the Civil Service Commission and City Personnel in the testing process.


Get a Study Guide

Register for the next available test, then choose method A or B:

  • A. Pick up a study guide at the City Human Resources Department located in City Hall, 215 SE 7th St., Room 170, Topeka, KS 66603. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • B.
    Purchase a practice test and/or study guide online directly from the test manufacturer.


Study guides obtained form the City Human Resources Department must be returned the day of the test. If you do not return the study guide on that testing date, you will be assessed a
$4.00 charge to cover the cost of the study guide before being allowed to take the written examination. Payment for the study guide may be submitted by personal check, money order or cashiers check made payable to the City of Topeka. Cash will not be accepted.

You will be required to show photo identification to gain admittance into the testing areas. You must maintain photo identification with you throughout the testing process in the event a question of eligibility should arise. Failure to supply some form of formalized identification card, with photograph, such as a Drivers License or State Identification Card will result in the elimination from employment consideration.

If you have previously tested for the position of police officer with the Topeka Police Department within the last two years, you will be required to pay a $15.00 fee to be eligible to take the written set of examinations. The payment of the $15.00 fee will be accepted the day of the test only and payment must be submitted by personal check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to City of Topeka. No cash will be accepted!

If you have passed the POPAT within the last 4 months, you will only need to take the written examination.


Application Evaluation

After successfully completing the POPAT and written tests, you will be given a Personal History Form (formal application) and required to complete and return the form in a specified period of time. Failure to supply the information requested results in an automatic disqualification. Additionally, you are required to supply a certificate of high school graduation, high school and college transcripts, a copy of your social security card, Military DoD 214, and a copy of your driver’s license. The Personal History Form and all requested documents are examined and evaluated against a list of automatic disqualifiers established by the Civil Service Board.
See attached list of automatic disqualifiers.

According to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Act 74-5605(d) : As used in this section,
conviction includes rendering of judgment by a military court martial pursuant to the uniform code of military justice, by a court of the United States or by a court of competent jurisdiction in any state, whether or not expunged; and any diversion agreement entered into for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and any diversion agreement entered into on or after July 1, 1995, for a felony.


Initial Interview

The initial interview is with a background investigator to go over your application, inform you about the Topeka Police Department and our hiring process and to assess if you possess the qualities most sought after in police officer applicants.



An extensive background investigation is undertaken which consists of personal contacts and phone contacts with listed references, school teachers, administrators, employers, co-workers, neighbors, unlisted references that can be located, spouse, ex-spouses and friends. Additionally, your current financial institution is checked, past credit history is examined and criminal history checks are made. You must have no felony convictions or any misdemeanor conviction which would indicate moral or ethical weakness.

You must be legally qualified to possess a firearm. You must not have a history of criminal or improper conduct, or a poor employment, military, or driving record which would affect your suitability for law enforcement work. You must also have a responsible financial history and a pattern of respect and honesty in your dealings with individuals and organizations. Your background must reflect a history of positive life choices. Attendance records of previous employers and/or school attendance must not be indicative of attendance problems. A valid driver's license is required prior to appointment.


Command Staff Interview Board

If you successfully pass the above processes, you will be scheduled for a personal interview with Topeka Police Department Staff. You will be evaluated on character traits and abilities in the areas of decision-making, judgments under pressure, ability to communicate, demeanor, integrity and credibility. Standard sets of questions will be asked to all applicants and you will be scored based on your answers. An opportunity is provided for you to present your strong points and verbalize why you would be an asset to the Topeka Police Department.


Civil Service Board Interview

You will be scheduled to appear before a civilian review board appointed by the Mayor to answer specific questions and scenarios. On completion of the oral interview, the Civil Service Board will vote to certify or not certify you for employment. If you are certified, you will be given a conditional job offer and proceed to the next step of the process.


The Polygraph Examination

You are now required to undergo a pre-employment polygraph examination. A qualified polygraph examiner employed by the Topeka Police Department administers the test.


Medical/Psychological Testing

If you successfully complete the polygraph exam, you are required to undergo an extensive medical examination to ensure your physical condition and ability to perform the duties and functions required of being a police officer. During this exam, a mandatory drug screen is administered. If you are determined to be not qualified, you will be removed from the employment process and advised. You are required to undergo a psychological evaluation.

The psychological tests are scored, rated and used in conjunction with a psychological evaluation to evaluate your mental and emotional ability to perform police work. An interview may be conducted by the City’s designated mental health professional .An applicant will then be placed on an eligibility list.