Police Employment

The following information details the hiring process, standards, and the steps undertaken to being hired as a Police Officer with the City of Keene. This information is provided for general reference only and is not controlling in nature. The City of Keene reserves the right to amend its personnel policies and practices without notice.

The Keene Police Department accepts applications for the position of Police Officer on an ongoing basis. Selected applicants must pass a written exam, physical fitness test, oral board, intensive background investigation, polygraph examination, psychological exam and a medical exam.

Minimum Qualifications: All applicants for the Keene Police Department must be United States citizens; high school graduate, or possess a GED certificate; and be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment. College education and/or military experience are highly desirable.

Please download our Application for Employment. Applications can be mailed to: Recruitment Officer; Keene Police Department; 400 Marlboro Street; Keene, NH 03431

For further information contact Keene Police Recruiting at (603) 357-9815, or write to: Keene Police Department, 400 Marlboro Street, Keene, NH 03431, Attn: Recruiting. E-mail can be sent to policerecruiting@ci.keene.nh.us.

General Duties

Duties include patrol of an assigned area for the purposes of crime prevention, law enforcement, and providing for general public safety. This may include the investigation of crimes, identification and apprehension of offenders, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, and providing emergency services. Applicants should have excellent communication skills and a history of demonstrated common sense and sound decision-making. Applicants need to be able to analyze situations quickly and objectively and must meet the following Basic Hiring Criteria:Basic Hiring Criteria

Police Officer Selection Process:

The selection process for entry level police officers consists of two general phases. The first phase includes the Written Test, the Physical Fitness Test and an Oral Board Interview. The second phase consists of the Background Investigation, Medical, Psychological and Polygraph Examination. The Department makes all reasonable efforts to complete the process within 90 days of the initial test. However, during periods when we have no openings and are developing a waiting list only, we will only complete the first phase of the process.

Written Test:

The Police Officer Examination covers subject matter involving mathematics, reading comprehension, English and grammar skills, and problem solving exercises which test evaluative and analytic abilities. The test is administered several times throughout the year by the various written testing alliances in which the Keene Police Department participates. All those interested in a police officer position with the Department must take a written test at one of the testing locations noted below.

Exceptions to this are made for full-time certified police officers and military veterans; please see the sections below for Application Process for NH Certified Police Officers and Military/Veteran applicants for details.

A written test generally runs from one and one half to two and one half hours.

No prior training or experience in the position of police officer is assumed or required of applicants taking this test. The test is scored by the testing agency and the results are forwarded to usapproximately two weeks from the test date.

Applicants receiving a cognitive testing score of 75% or higher will be invited to participate in the next step of the hiring process, the physical fitness test, as it is scheduled.

All written tests utilized by the Keene Police Department have been professionally validated for content and adverse impact.

The following is a list of the testing organizations and dates when written testing is taking place:

New Hampshire Technical Institute

  • Saturday, December 6, 2014

 NHTI Police Testing Info Sheet (Not available at this time).

Great Bay Community College.

All testing will be held at Great Bay Community College.

  • ​December 13, 2014 at 9:00am
  • March 7, 2015 at 9:00am
  • June 6, 2015 at 9:00am
  • September 12, 2015 at 9:00am
  • ​December 12 2015 at 9:00am

***Deadline to register is 8:00 p.m. the Wednesday before the scheduled test date.***

Great Bay Community College, Portsmouth Campus - 320 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Please visit the following website for more information: Great Bay Community College.

Great Bay: Police Testing Alliance Registration Form

River Valley Community College

Contact RVCC for payment information.

Additional inquiry may be made to DBurridge@ccsnh.edu CJ Program Director

A practice booklet may be purchased directly from the publisher for $18 at http://www.ipma-hr.org/assessment/study/police (P-Series Entry-Level Police Candidate Study Guide).

Physical fitness test:

The physical fitness test will only be administered to those who pass the written test. It consists of a battery of tests including tests of individual flexibility, sit ups, push-ups, a bench press and a one and one half mile run. Performance standards are established by the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council and based on the Cooper Battery for physical fitness. The standards can be seen below.

The 1.5 mile run must be completed in the time established for your age and sex. All other tests have a "standard" and a "minimum" level of performance. Applicants should attempt to do as well as they can on each test and not limit themselves to the standard. To pass the physical fitness test an applicant must complete each test by meeting or exceeding the standard score. An applicant may fall below the standard in any one test provided they meet or exceed the minimum score. For example, a 28 year old male who meets the standard in all tests except pushups must complete at least 29 pushups to remain a candidate.

Applicants should practice these tests before the test date. If you cannot perform at the levels prescribed it is recommended that you not take the test, engage in a program of physical conditioning and apply for the next selection process.

Applicants should bring appropriate clothing and footwear in which to take the physical tests. The run takes place outside regardless of weather conditions.

The following standards should be reviewed prior to the day of the test so that each applicant understands the standards they must meet to succeed:



Oral Board Interview:

Applicants who pass both the Written Test and the Physical Fitness Test will be scheduled to appear for an oral board interview.

The oral board will normally be conducted by three police officers and will focus on evaluating areas such as the applicants (1) Communications Skill, (2) Human Relations/Interpersonal Skills, (3) Problem Solving/Judgment Skill, (4) Career Preparation, (5)General Suitability for Position.

Background Investigation:

Applicants who pass the written test, physical fitness test and oral board will then undergo an extensive background investigation.

The background investigation will include but not be limited to,

  • work history and experience,
  • educational experience,
  • personal references,
  • financial stability,
  • motor vehicle record,
  • criminal conduct and verification of credentials

Medical Examination:

A comprehensive medical examination will be conducted by Department doctors at our expense. It includes a complete physical examination with attention to those physical standards set by the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council.

The purpose of the medical exam is to reveal any medical problems which may inhibit or prevent the applicant from performing the essential functions of the position of police officer.

Polygraph Examination:

Polygraph examinations are administered by certified, experienced polygraph operators with many years of law enforcement experience.

Questions will be drawn from the following areas;

  • the initial application and information developed by background investigation,
  • physical and mental health,
  • previous employment,
  • alcohol and drug use,
  • gambling,
  • military experience,
  • driving record,
  • sexual activity,
  • credit rating and financial status and
  • criminal record

Psychological Assessment:

Utilizing the findings of an in-depth clinical interview, the results of the MMPI-2 and such other instruments as may be deemed appropriate, a qualified psychologist shall assess the emotional and psychological suitability of the applicant.

Re-Evaluation Policy and Re-Test Policy:

Re-Evaluation - The Department reserves the right to make the decision as to who shall be appointed to any position.

An applicant may request that the Police Chief review the results of any component of the selection process in which the applicant feels he or she has erroneously received a failing score.

The applicant has the burden to articulate a reasonable basis to believe the score given was inaccurate.

Re-Testing - Any applicant who fails to achieve a passing score on either the written test or the physical fitness test is eligible to reapply and re-test the next time a test is offered.

Any applicant who failed a test due to cheating, dishonest responses to questions or untrue representations on applications shall not be allowed to re-test.

Any applicant who fails the medical examination may retake the test only on showing that the deficiency discovered has been corrected.

Any applicant who is not qualified by virtue of having a felony conviction, or by not being a United States citizen, or by having a criminal conviction based on an act of domestic violence may not re-test until he or she shows evidence of citizenship, or in the case of a conviction, a reversal, pardon or annulment.

Appointment to Probationary Status:

Successful applicants will be appointed to the position of Police Officer on a probationary status for a period of one year from the date of appointment.

During that year the probationary officer will be expected to complete the Keene Police Department Field Evaluation and Training Program (14 weeks duration), the New Hampshire Police Academy (14 weeks duration), and perform the duties and responsibilities of the position at a satisfactory level.

Residency Requirements:

All Keene Police Officers are required to reside within 30 minutes from the Keene Police Department within one year of appointment.

The Keene Police Department prefers to hire applicants who are currently full time certified police officers in the State of New Hampshire.

Application Process for NH Full-time Certified Police Officers:

Applicants who are full-time certified as a police officer in NH or any other state may apply directly to the Keene Police Department and are expected to complete all phases of the hiring process.

Military/Veteran applicants:

The Keene Police Department supports those who have served in the military. Honorably discharged Veteran’s may apply directly to the Keene Police Department and are expected to complete all phases of the hiring process.

The Keene Police Department is certified by the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission and the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans State Approved agency. The Keene Police Department’s Patrol Officer On-the-Job-Training Program meets all State and Federal requirements for the education and training of eligible military personnel, veterans and or dependents. If you meet the Department of Veteran Affairs criteria for eligibility as a veteran, military personnel or dependent, you may qualify for an additional $10,000 during your first year of training as a Keene Police Officer.


Listed below is some brief information regarding employee benefits:

Pay Range:

Starting Pay (Probationary Police Officer): $41,912

Top Step Police Officer: $60,715


The department maintains a standard deployment of officers 24 hours per day. Most police officers work 10 hours tours with a four day on -three day off schedule. The Keene Police Department uses a shift bid system based on seniority.

Complete details regarding City of Keene employee benefits may be viewed at the City of Keene Human Resources Department web page. City Benefits

For further information contact Keene Police Recruiting at (603)357-9815, or write to Keene Police Department, 400 Marlboro Street, Keene, NH 03431, Attn: Recruiting.

E-mail can be sent to policerecruiting@ci.keene.nh.us.

The City of Keene is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.