How to Apply

Public Safety is a challenging yet rewarding career. You'll spend your career serving the people of Kalamazoo and keeping our community safe. People will depend on you to be there when they need you. This is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly and our hiring process reflects that. We must be sure that all of Kalamazoo's Public Safety Officers have a heart for service and commitment and love for this community.

KDPS accepts applications for lateral transfers (certified police officers or full-time firefighters with MFR certification) year-round. Several times a year, we open an application period for new officers, who we will sponsor through the police academy, fire academy, and all required training.

How to Apply

Step 1.Prepare

Aspiring applicants should research and understand the requirements, qualifications, and expectations to work for Kalamazoo Public Safety. Applicants should also start preparing themselves mentally and physically for the application process. This can include speaking with a recruiter, completing a job interest card, scheduling a ride-along, and starting a regular fitness routine.

Connect with a Recruiter

Request a Ride-Along

Step 2.Apply

Kalamazoo Public Safety conducts three hiring processes each year for non-certified applicants and has a continuous hiring process open for lateral transfer applicants. Applicants will complete an initial online application to ensure their eligibility to become a Public Safety Officer. Applicants will be kept informed of their status throughout the hiring process by Human Resources.

Apply Now

If you're interested in applying but a hiring period isn't open, you can text "JoinKDPS" to (269) 291-0199 and we'll let you know when the next period begins.

Connect with a Recruiter

Step 3.MCOLES Testing

For those who are not already sworn law enforcement officers, the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) requires applicants to successfully pass two tests to be accepted into a police academy. The tests include a Reading & Writing test and a Pre-Enrollment Fitness test. Information on both tests can be found here. Information about required MCOLES testing, including testing locations and date requirements will be sent out to applicants by Human Resources.

View MCOLES testing information

Step 4.Initial Interview

Applicants who successfully complete their preliminary screening will be invited to an initial interview at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS). The initial interview covers various topics like your motivations for joining KDPS and relevant experience, plus situation-based questions to assess communication skills, judgment, and decision-making. Applicants should bring a resume and be prepared to highlight themselves as potential future employees.

Step 5.Background Check 

Applicants will undergo a comprehensive background investigation to ensure their suitability for a career within Kalamazoo Public Safety. A background investigation includes reference checks, previous employment checks, driving status and criminal history checks, a review of all previous police involvements, financial records, social media accounts, and verification of information provided by the applicant in the background packet. The background investigation takes approximately four weeks to complete.

Step 6.Chiefs' Interview

The Chiefs’ Interview is one of the final steps in the hiring process and involves an in-depth interview with the Chiefs of Kalamazoo Public Safety to ensure that an applicant’s motivations and character align with KDPS’ values.

Step 7.Conditional Offer

Applicants who successfully pass their interviews and background investigations will receive a conditional offer of employment, pending the successful completion of medical and psychological testing, and drug screening. A conditional offer of employment is typically given within two days of the Chiefs’ Interview.

Step 8.Medical, Psychological, and Drug Screening

Applicants must undergo mandatory medical and drug screenings to ensure that they can meet the physical demands of the job, as required by MCOLES. Psychological testing is completed to ensure that applicants are mentally prepared for a first responder career. Appointments for all three tests are scheduled when applicants sign their conditional offer of employment.

Step 9.Hire

Applicants will be notified when they successfully complete the conditions of their employment offer and will be given a start date. Kalamazoo Public Safety will ensure that applicants are able to give a proper two-week notice to their current employer before they start. Depending on when an applicant is hired, they will either attend the police academy (January or August) or fire academy (May) immediately after being hired.

Step 10.Training 

New hires will be assigned to the training division for their first year. During this time, they will attend the police academy, fire academy, and advanced police academy, and complete medical first responder training and field training.