Eligibility, Testing & Selection
The recruitment and selection processes are vitally important elements in the Bentonville Police Department’s effort to attract and appoint only the most qualified personnel. It is the policy of the Bentonville Police Department to ensure that in its recruitment and selection process, equal employment opportunity is guaranteed to all persons without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, mental or physical handicap, sexual orientation, or any other factors not related to merit and fitness for the position.
The Bentonville Police Department operates under the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy adopted by the City of Bentonville. This policy is maintained by the City of Bentonville’s Human Resources Department and is available for all employees to review upon request.
The recruiting and selection process shall be a joint effort of the Bentonville Police Department and the City of Bentonville’s Human Resources Department.
*Additional State requirements can be reviewed on the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training website.
The minimum requirements for an appointment to the position of Police Officer for the City of Bentonville are as follows:
- Be a citizen of the United States or a nonimmigrant legally admitted to the United States under the Compact of Free Association (Marshall Islands).
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Be fingerprinted and a search initiated of state and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
- High School Graduate or Equivalent.
- Be of good character as determined by a thorough background investigation.
- Have No Felony Convictions.
- Possess Valid Drivers License.
- Be examined by a licensed physician and meet the physical requirements.
- Be interviewed personally prior to employment by the department head or their representative, or representatives to determine such things as the applicant’s motivation, appearance, demeanor, attitude, and ability to communicate.
- Be examined by an individual licensed to practice psychiatry or psychology and qualified to perform such evaluations in the State of Arkansas, who after examination finds the law enforcement officer to be competent and recommends the law enforcement agency hire the individual.
The selection process will include several testing phases (see below). These phases will take place in the following order:
- Candidates must submit a complete and thorough online application to the City of Bentonville Human Resources Department Click Here to Apply
- Candidates shall take a written examination of a type and form approved by the Bentonville Police Department and Bentonville City Human Resources Department.
- Candidates shall submit to a physical fitness agility examination administered by Bentonville Police Department personnel. The physical fitness agility examination is intended to assess the candidate’s ability to perform physical tasks that can reasonably be expected to be performed by a police officer, consistent with the Bentonville Police Department’s job description for a police officer. Candidates must complete this course, including the following timed and nontimed events.
- Candidates will submit to an oral examination. This examination will be administered by a board comprised of a Bentonville Police Supervisor, Bentonville Police Officer, and a representative from the City of Bentonville Human Resources Department.
- Candidates will be subjected to a thorough and complete background investigation. The purpose of the background investigation is to find character traits that might prevent the applicant from becoming a successful law enforcement officer. (Arkansas’ Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) Minimum Standards Manual, Section 1002, Subsection e requires that complete background investigations be conducted for each applicant employed as a law enforcement officer)
- Background investigations shall be conducted by members of the Bentonville Police Department, as assigned by the Chief of Police or his designee.
- Candidates will be required to complete a release of information form along with a CLEST form F-3 (Personal History Statement) prior to the background investigation being initiated.
- Background investigations will include, at a minimum, verification of qualifying credentials, a thorough review of any criminal history record found, and verification of at least three personal references.
- Background investigations shall include a credit history of the candidate.
- Background investigations shall include fingerprints and photographs of the candidate by Bentonville Police Department personnel. (Arkansas’ Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) Minimum Standards Manual, Section 1002, Subsection “c” and “d” requires fingerprinting of all potential candidates, and that a search be initiated of state and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record for the candidate)
- The employment of persons as police officers who have pled guilty or been convicted of a crime, the punishment for which could have been imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or state prison, is prohibited by Arkansas law.
- Background investigations will include the candidate submitting to a “Voice Stress Analysis” (VSA) examination. This test will be administered by a qualified examiner from the Bentonville Police Department. (The results of the VSA examination will not be permitted as the single determinant of employment status. However, any admissions made to the VSA examiner prior to, during, and after the test, combined with other information, may be considered to support decisions relevant to employment status).
Based on the above phases, the most qualified person(s) will be selected to meet with the Chief of Police or his designee for purposes of a follow-up interview. Subsequent to this interview, the Chief of Police or his designee may select a candidate and make a conditional offer of employment; the selected candidate(s) must submit to two additional examinations. These examinations are as follows:
- A medical examination is conducted by a licensed physician, at the City’s expense. The purpose of the medical examination is to certify that the candidate is in good health and is physically capable of performing the essential job functions of a police officer. A drug test is also administered during the physical examination. Failing this examination disqualifies the candidate from further consideration for appointment as a police officer.
- A psychological examination is administered by a licensed health professional, at the City’s expense. The purpose of the psychological examination is to determine the applicant’s emotional stability. Failing this examination disqualifies the candidate from further consideration for appointment as a police officer.
Candidates who successfully pass the two additional examinations (physical and psychological) are appointed to the position of patrol officer for the Bentonville Police Department. For the first twelve months of employment, the officer shall serve in a probationary status during which time the new officer will participate in basic training at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (if not previously certified) and in the police department's Field Training Program.