Employment with the Keene Police Department

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.

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. 

The selection process includes the following major components: 

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 twice a year in April and October. Additional testing may be done by the Department on an as needed basis at other times of the year. 

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 and results are available approximately three weeks from the test date. 

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

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 proscribed 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. 
Click here for the fitness standards for females.

Click here for the fitness standards for males.

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/Judgement 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,
    • driving record, 
    • 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

Reevaluation - 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 invited to re-apply 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 re-take 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.

Training Agreement

Applicants who are offered positions with the Keene Police Department will be expected to sign a contract committing themselves to work with the Department for not less then two years.  An officer who voluntarily leaves the Department in less than two years is responsible for reimbursing the City for the pro-rated cost of training. 

Copies of the agreement and details will be provided to applicants as they progress to final stages of the selection process. 

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 New Hampshire Police Academy (12 weeks duration), the Keene Police Department Field Evaluation and Training Program (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 a 15 mile radius of the borders of the City of Keene within one year of appointment.

Application  Process

Process for Certified Police Officers.

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

Applicants who hold New Hampshire credentials may apply directly to the Keene Police Department. As need arises you will be contacted and an interview will be set. If, following the interview, it appears you fit the needs of the Department you will be scheduled to participate in a physical agility test. If you pass the test then you will continue in the steps of the process outlined above. 

All the written test and all associated fees will be waived for New Hampshire full time certified officers. No other components will be waived.

Application Process for Others

The first step in the selection process for persons who are not currently New Hampshire certified police officers is the written test.  It is not necessary or advantageous to complete an application to prior to the test. 

The test 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 twice during the year, in April and October.  Additional testing may be done by the Department on an as needed basis at other times of the year. 

The written test is administered by the Police Testing Alliance (PTA) at McIntosh College in Dover, New Hampshire. To take the test you need to register with the PTA and submit a $50 fee in the form of a bank check or money order – no personal checks will be accepted – payable to McIntosh College. This a multi-jurisdictional process and the  results of this test are used by more than twenty law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire and Maine. 

To register for the written examination, you must complete the Registration Form and return it with a non-refundable test fee of $50.  Payment of the test fee must be by bank check or money order –no personal checks will be accepted – payable to McIntosh College. Questions may be answered and Registration Forms may be obtained by calling McIntosh College at 603-742-1234 or visiting the PTA website at www.mcintosh.dover.nh.us. 

Immediately on being notified of the results of the written test, all candidates who passed will given the opportunity participate in a Physical Fitness Test sponsored by the Keene Police Department. All those who pass the Physical Fitness Test will be scheduled for an Oral Board Interview.  Staffing needs of the Keene Police Department at that time will determine if other components will be offered or put on hold pending openings. 

Next test date is XXXX, 2004. Registration form must be in no later than 5:00 pm on XXXX, 2004.

Registration Form


Keene Police Department Basic Hiring Criteria
    • Must be a United States Citizen
    • Must be not less than 18 years of age at time of appointment.
    • Must have graduated from High School or possess a GED.
    • Must not suffer from a mental disorder defined in the DSM-III-R, as diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist, for which the applicant has not undergone effective rehabilitation and which would effect their ability to perform law enforcement duties.
    • Must not have committed any felony or serious crimes (regardless of weather or not you were caught or accused) as either a juvenile or an adult.
    • Must not have committed a misdemeanor, as an adult or juvenile, of which the offense or underlying circumstances are such that it would cause a reasonable person to doubt the applicants character, honesty or ability.
    • Must not have been convicted in a military or civilian court of multiple misdemeanors or violations for which the applicant has not received a pardon, and which would indicate to a reasonable person a pattern of disregard for the law.
    • Must not have been convicted in a military or civilian court in the ten years immediately preceding application for hire as a police officer of a misdemeanor, for which the applicant has not received a pardon and which resulted in serious bodily injury to another person.
    • Must not have been dishonorably discharged from military service.
    • Must not have been discharged from the military service under other than honorable conditions, where the circumstances, in the opinion of a reasonable person, would cast doubt on the applicant’s fitness to be a police officer.
    • Must never have illegally manufactured, transported for sale or sold a controlled substance.
    • Must not have used a controlled substance, other than marijuana, within the three years preceding the application for hire; unless the applicant was under the age of 21 at the time of using the controlled substance, in which case two years shall apply.
    • Must not have used marijuana within one year of the application for hire.
    • Must not have illegally used a controlled substance while employed in a law enforcement capacity.
    • Must not have made or make a material false statement in the selection process.
    • Must not have been discharged or allowed to resign in lieu of discharge for reasons of moral character or moral turpitude, as defined by the Administrative Rules of NH PS&TC , from employment as a police or corrections officer for acts or omissions of conduct which would cause a reasonable person to have doubts about the individuals honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and the laws of the State and Nation.
    • Must not have a history of illegal drug use which, in the opinion of a reasonable person, would cast doubt on the applicants fitness to be a police officer.
    • Must not use legal drugs or alcohol to excess.
    • Must not have a general character or reputation in the community which would cause a reasonable person to doubt that the applicant would conduct themselves with honesty and integrity and uphold the rule of law.
    • Must be free from the conviction of any crime of which an element of domestic violence was a part.
    • Must not be the defendant in any currently active restraining order related to domestic violence unless it is being contested.
    • Must not have more than two motor vehicle violations within past year or more than four violations within the past six years.
    • Must not have been convicted of DWI, Reckless Operation or Operating After Suspension within the seven years preceding application.
    • Must possess a valid motor vehicle operators license.
    • Must not have had your motor vehicle operator’s license suspended, revoked, or canceled within the prior three years.
    • Must be free from more than two motor vehicle accidents within the past six years in which you were found at fault for the accident.
    • Must not have any unpaid summonses (including parking violations) against you unless they are currently being contested.
    • Must not have illegally possessed any alcoholic beverages or committed any illegal act involving the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages within the past year (this includes driving under the influence, public intoxication, furnishing to a minor, drunk and disorderly conduct, assaultive behavior, etc.).
    • Must not have committed three or more illegal acts involving the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs of any kind within the past five years (this is not to include simple possession of alcoholic beverages, however does include driving under the influence assaultive behavior, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, etc.
    • You must believe you are psychologically able to lawfully take a human life if it became necessary in the course of your police duties.
    • Must have a good credit history.
    • Must not belong or ever have been affiliated with any subversive organizations.
    • Must not have by word of mouth or in writing advocated or advised or taught the doctrine that the government of the United States of America or any political subdivision thereof should be overthrown by force, violence or any unlawful means.
    • Must pass written, physical and oral examinations in the selection process.
    • Must obtain a New Hampshire Police Officer Certification from the NH Police Standards and Training Council within one year of appointment.
    • Must be willing to sign an authority for release of information allowing members of the Keene Police Department to have access to your complete background history.
    • Must be willing to submit to a urinalysis for drug screening.
    • Must be willing to sign a prorated two year contract agreeing to reimburse the City of Keene for the cost of Recruit Training and Field Training if you voluntarily leave employment in less than two years.
    • Must be willing to submit to a polygraph examination to verify that you meet the above criteria and that you have made no misrepresentations, falsifications, omissions, or concealment of material facts in the testing process. This includes participating in cheating or committing deceptive acts in the testing process. Also that information is given by you is true and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief. 

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

Listed below is some brief information regarding employee benefits;

Accrue 5 days after 1 year

15 days after 7 years

20 days after 15 years

Accrue 1 day per month to a maximum of 120 days


11 paid holidays

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.  Officers currently bid for shifts.

Keene Police officers contribute to the New Hampshire Retirement System, which is a contributory pension plan and trust qualified as a tax-exempt organization under Section 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is a defined benefit plan providing disability, death, and retirement protection to members and their families.  Officers receive a retirement allowance upon reaching age 45 with 20 or more years of creditable service.  Additional information may be viewed at the New Hampshire Retirement Systems web pages by clicking the Granite State Logo below;

Complete details regarding City of Keene employee benefits may be viewed at from the City of Keene Human Resources Department web pages by clicking the Keene City Seal below;


For further information contact Keene Police Records at (603)357-9815, or write to Keene Police Department 11 Washington Street, Keene, NH 03431, Attn.: Records.

You can also e-mail, Captain Edward Bourassa at ebourassa@ci.keene.nh.us

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