Become a Police Officer in Colorado

When Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana throughout the state, opponents of the move predicted doomsday scenarios in which crime rates would skyrocket. Instead, the opposite happened and the crime rate actually dropped. In Denver, for example, the overall property crime dropped by 14.6%. Violent crime fell by 2.4%, with murders dropping by a whopping 66.7% and robberies by 7%.

But that doesn’t mean there are zero crimes in Colorado, even though the state has a fairly good reputation when it comes to crime rates. In Colorado, you need to be certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board if you want to be a cop anywhere in the state. This means you have to pass a physical and psychological exam along with a background check. You also must attend a police academy. You can be certified once you fulfill all these, and when you also can:

  • Show a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Show a certificate for first aid and CPR; and
  • Complete an approved Colorado basic training course within two years prior to your application for certification.

Of course, individual departments nay have its own police academy requirements in Colorado that exceed the standards mandated by the state law.

Denver Police Department

In Denver, the starting salary for a recruit is $46.913. It becomes 52,126 once you become a Police Officer (4th grade).

The basic requirements (in addition to the POST requirements) include:

  • 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • US citizenship
  • And no felonies and no misdemeanors involving domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, harassment, DUI, or illegal drug activity.

The application process is quite extensive. There’s an initial written exam, a background history, a physical ability test, suitability test which includes a polygraph test, a psych evaluation, a more exhaustive background check, getting into the eligible roster, getting a conditional job offer, a medical evaluation, and then finally a final job offer and admission to the Academy.

The physical ability test (PAT) includes a test in which you are sitting in a patrol car with the doors closed. You’ll then get a radio message describing the suspect’s clothing. You must get out of the car, run 130 yards, climb over a chain-link fence, go through a window frame that measures 30 inches on each side, crawl under two tables, pick the right mannequin based on the clothing description, and then drag the 150-pound dummy five feet to cross the finish line.

The entire thins must be completed in 63 seconds or less.

Colorado Springs Police Department

The requirements and battery of tests you’ll endure to get appointed to the academy is pretty much the same here. There are a few notable differences, however. You will need at least an associate’s degree or 60 college semester hours. You can’t have misdemeanor convictions related to domestic violence. No marijuana use for the last 18 months, and no other illegal drugs (and no DUI) for the last three years.

The written tests portion also includes a personality test (with no study guide offered) which tries to see if you have the psych profile they want in a Colorado Springs police officer.

As for the PAT, the physical fitness test standards measure:

  1. The number of pushups you can make in a minute
  2. The number of sit-ups you can perform in a minute
  3. The time it takes for you to finish a 5-meter Illinois Agility Run involving two turns and some cones along the way that you have to avoid
  4. Your speed as you complete a Beep Test, in which you change directions when you hear a beep.

 The background check is also stringent, and any sign of dishonesty or lack of integrity—false or omitted info in your application, or bad credit—can disqualify you.

Aurora Police Department

The process of interviews and tests is also basically the same, and so are the basic requirements. Perhaps the main difference here is that you need to have correctable visual acuity of 20/20 and you can’t be color-blind. You also need to speak fluent English.

The PAT consists of two parts. The first part is to climb a 6-foot chain link fence. The other is the patrol car test, where you run 130 yards, crawl under a table, climb a window that’s 30-inches on each side and situated 49 over the ground, run up a flight of stairs, and then drag a 150-pound dummy for five feet.

Fort Collins Police Department

The basic requirements are similar to the basic requirements of other police departments in Colorado. The difference here is that you need to speak fluid English and you must have completed a minimum of 60 semester (or 90 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university. You should have at least a 2.0 GPA.

There are 7 steps to the application process which involves the usual interviews, exams and evaluations. But the entire process can take 7 months.

The physical fitness standards are as follows:

  • 17-inch vertical jump
  • 35 sit-ups in one minute
  • 16 pushups with no time limit
  • 300-meter run in 64 seconds
  • 1.4-mile run on an outdoor track under 15 minutes and 45 seconds
  • And a timed run on a zigzagging course.

Lakewood Police Department

Again the basic requirements are the same, except that you really need Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline. You also can’t have a felony on your record after the age of 17.

The PAT is an obstacle course which combines everything you need to display as a police officer. Speed, agility, and strength are noted in the combined score.


With all the exams, interviews, and tests you have to take, it is very easy to screw up and make a mistake that can result in your disqualification. That’s just the application process, and the academy is a much more difficult proposition. To prepare yourself, you need a review material such as the Prepare for the Police Academy review manual. This covers everything from start to finish, and you’ll get tips you’ll need for every step. Learning how to prepare for the police academy is crucial, if you want to be a cop in Colorado.

CA Police Officer Requirements

When you have more than 38 million living in just one state, you’re bound to see quite a few crimes throughout the year. The statistics bear this out: more than 1.21 million crimes were committed in California in 2012. More than a million of these crimes were crimes against property. But almost 161,000 were classified as violent crimes, and they included 1,884 murders.

For those who want to help stem the tide against crime in California, here’s a look at some police academy requirements in California you’ll need to go through:

Los Angeles Police Department

This is perhaps one of the most storied and most publicized police departments in the world. More TV shows and movies have included the LAPD than any other police department. That’s why the LAPD gets a lot of applications. The basic qualifications include 21 years of age, at least a high school diploma or GED, US citizen or permanent resident alien who is eligible and has applied for citizenship, and a background (employment, financial, and driving) that shows great responsibility.

The application process is lengthy and thorough, however:

  1. Preliminary Background Application (PBA) and Job Preview Questionnaire (JPQ)
  2. Personal Qualifications Essay (PQE), for which you will need a valid federal or state photo ID before you can take the written exam.
  3. Background check and polygraph test.
  4. Physical abilities test. This only checks that you have the minimum physical fitness to go through Academy training.
  5. Department interview.
  6. Medical and psychological evaluation.
  7. Certification and appointment to next available class date.

The PAT is a good indicator of just how tough it will be in the Police Academy. If you can barely make the grade in the PAT, your chances don’t look so good for the Academy.

The first portion of the PAT involves testing your agility, strength, and muscular endurance. With the side step exercise, you go four feet left and then right from the center line. The number of times you can reach the outer lines in 10 seconds will be your score. The next exercise is the cable pull, and your score will be the average of three attempts. Then you go on a stationary bike, and you have to complete as many revolutions as you can in 2 minutes.

The other portion of the PAT is on the treadmill, and here you will simulate running a mile and a half in an astonishing 14 minutes. This is a difficult exercise, compared in some police departments where you only need to complete the 1.5-mile run in 18 minutes or so. The speed and the incline will change during the exam.

The physical fitness test standards for the Academy are much tougher, so watch out. But after all that, you can expect a salary of $49,924, or $51,949 if you have at least 60 college credits and at least a 2.0 GPA. For those with a 4-year course, the pay jumps to $53,975.

San Diego Police Department

As a police recruit, your salary is $23.22 an hour, which is the equivalent of a $48,000 annual salary. But once you become a regular police officer, it jumps to $26.04 an hour or $54,000 per year.

The process of becoming a San Diego police officer is basically the same as that for the LAPD. There are some tattoo policies in place, though. You can’t have visible tattoos on face, neck or head, and your tattoos should not be prejudicial to good order and discipline. Your tattoos should not exceed 25% of your visible body part.

The San Diego PD PAT involves 5 timed events:

  1. Running a 99-yard obstacle course
  2. Climbing a 6-foot solid fence
  3. Climbing a 6-foot chain link fence
  4. Dragging a 165-pound dummy for 32 feet
  5. Running for 500 yards

As a recruit in the Academy, you’ll start running at least three and a half miles a day. Near the end of the training, you’ll be running seven miles a day several days a week.

San Jose Police Department

The pay for police officers in San Jose is quite impressive compared to what you can get in most places in the US. Even as an Academy recruit, you already take down $31.15 an hour. The starting step 1 salary is $75,483, and you get a step increase in salary every year for the next seven years. The top step police salary is $101,088.

As for the basic requirements, the age and citizenship requirements are the same. You’ll need a driver’s license, however, and you also need 40 semester college credits or 60 quarter college credits from an accredited college or university. Your uncorrected vision needs to be 20/40 and you cannot have any felonies, domestic violence, or misdemeanor assault on your record.

You will then have to undergo a background check and an interview. There will also be a written exam, as well as a physical agility exam.

San Francisco Police Department

The physical ability test for the San Francisco PD starts with a rigorous obstacle course that includes pushing a 225-pound sled for five feet, and dragging a 140-pound dummy for 25 feet. Then you need to demonstrate the ability to pull the trigger with each hand, along with performing arm lifts and demonstrating cycling endurance.

As for the other requirements, they are similar to other police departments.

Fresno Police Department

The process and requirements for the Fresno PD is basically the same, although the sequence is different. Here, you start out as a cadet on field patrol. After you’ve gained some experience, you go to the Academy for six months. Once you graduate, your become a Recruit, for at least 16 weeks until your probationary period is complete and you become a regular Police Officer.


Even a cursory look at some of these requirements indicates that getting into any of these police departments can be very tough. The physical requirements along can be daunting—not many can perform all the physical exercises required. Add the written exams and the interview portions, and there are simply too many ways to fail.

The best way to maximize your chances is to make sure you learn how to prepare for the police academy properly. You’ll need the best review materials that cover the entire application and training process. Perhaps your best bet is the Prepare for the Police Academyreview manual. It covers everything you need to know, from how to fill out your application papers and doing well on written tests and interviews to meeting the physical fitness standards and excelling in the police academy. With such stringent standards and fierce competition, you’ll need all the help you can get.



How To Become A Police Officer in Arkansas

Most people in Arkansas will say that the state is a nice place to live in, but it can be a bit violent every now and then.  In 2012 the state logged in 13,835 violent crimes including 173 murders. Becoming a cop in Arkansas is not only a nice way to get a respectable job, but it’s also a much needed public service.

The Police academy requirements in Arkansas will depend on where you want to enlist. Here are some cities in Arkansas and their particular eligibility standards.

Little Rock Police Department

The starting salary for rookie police officers in Little Rock is $24,000. However, the median salary for patrol officers and criminal investigators is more than $42,000. The median for police supervisors and detectives is almost $60,000.

You can go online to the Little Rock Police Department Recruiting page to see how you can join. You need to be 21 years old but not more than 46 years old. You also need a high school diploma or GED, and have a good moral character without any felony convictions. Your eye sight should be 20/20 either with eyeglasses or not, and your hearing should be good enough that you can hear a whispered conversation within 15 feet.

The physical fitness standards can also be a bit intimidating. The Pre-Employment Agility Test used by the Little Rock PD is set by the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research. The physical Fitness test standards include:

  • 16 sit-ups in a minute
  • 18 pushups without a time limit
  • Bench pressing 62% of your body weight
  • A vertical jump of 14.5 inches
  • Completing a 300-meter sprint in 76 seconds
  • Completing an agility run in 22 seconds
  • Completing a mile and a half run within 18 minutes and 48 seconds.

Fort Smith Police Department

As a Fort Smith PD rookie, your starting salary is $35,880. You get a 3% bump if you have an associate’s degree, 6% for a bachelor’s, and 7% for a master’s. The requirements conform to the standards set forth by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (ALETA).

Once you meet the basic requirements (US Citizen, 21 years old, valid driver’s license, high school graduate or GED, no felonies), you can then submit your application. You then need to get a 70% grade to pass the written exam, and then you also need to pass the physical agility test. Then come the background check, two interviews, med and psych evaluations, and a polygraph test. Only then can you attend the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Fayetteville Police Department

After you graduate from the academy, you can earn a salary of $33,306 a year. The basic qualifications and process is largely the same but with some minor differences in the order of the examinations and interviews. The background check will include your credit, and there’s a drug screen as well.

However, Fayetteville PD has slightly different physical fitness standards. You will need to:

  • Bench press at least 64% of your body weight or do 25 push-ups;
  • Leg press at least 125% of your body weight or have a vertical leap of 16 inches;
  • Do 29 sit-ups in one minute;
  • Run a mile and a half inside 16 minutes and 29 seconds;
  • Run 300 meters in 71 seconds

Springdale Police Department

Springdale PD also asks for the same basic requirements, although their criminal record requirement is more demanding. Not only should you not have any felonies on your record, but you also should have no misdemeanors that involve moral turpitude or anything violent.

Its physical fitness requirements are also very similar:

  • 25 pushups
  • 16-inch vertical leap
  • 29 sit-ups in a minute
  • A mile and a half run within 16 minutes and 28 seconds
  • 300 meter sprint in 71 seconds

Once you pass through the academy, you will then earn a starting salary of $31,895.

Jonesboro Police Department

The basic qualifications for the Jonesboro are also basically the same as the others in terms of age, education, and moral character. The only difference is that the Jonesboro PD won’t let you join if you have visible tattoos or unusual piercings.

It also has its own set of physical fitness requirements:

  • 22 sit-ups in one minute
  • 12 pushups in one minute
  • 300 meter run in less than 71 seconds
  • Sit and reach at least 13 inches
  • Mile and a half run of less than 18 minutes
  • Using a double action pistol, trigger pull 15 times using each hand

When you pass the battery of tests and interviews, you’ll then need to undergo more than 600 hours of training at the Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pocahontas. Your starting salary is then $31,123.92 a year.


As you can see, the path towards a law enforcement career is filed with many potential roadblocks. The physical fitness standards alone are daunting, and that is why you really need to be in shape. Then you also have to review for the written exams, and for that you need to be prepared.

Learning how to prepare for the police academy can be also confusing since you may not be able to anticipate what kind of questions will be asked of you in the interview portion of your application. This is perhaps one of the most common ways to flunk out.

What you really need is to get a comprehensive review manual that covers everything, from the beginning stages of the application to what’s in store for you in the Police Academy. One of the most highly rated review materials is the Prepare for the Police Academy review manual, which is written by someone who actually went through the entire process and passed. Here you will know you to submit your application papers, do well on the exams and interviews, and even survive the police academy.

How To Become A Police Officer in AZ

Arizona can be a very dangerous place. In 2012, more than a quarter of a million offenses were logged, and a major crime takes place every 2 minutes and 5 seconds. On average, the following crimes occur in a single day:

  • 1 murder
  • 5 rapes
  • 20 robberies
  • 45 aggravated assaults
  • 4 arsons

Even Arizona police officers are not exempt from the violence, as 2,136 police officers were assaulted during this year. This is one of the main reasons why the Physical Fitness test standards for many police departments are so demanding. You need to be very fit not just to catch the criminals, but to keep yourself safe as well.

The Police academy requirements in Arizona depend on the particular police department you want to join. In general, the State of Arizona requires that you first need to meet a lot of requirements, including the following:

  • You have to be a US citizen, and at least 21 years old by the time you graduate from the lice Academy.
  • You must have a clean record (no felonies), and you shouldn’t have used any drugs unless you were very young at the time. If you did use drugs before, you need to demonstrate that you now possess the maturity never to do it again. But you can’t join if you ever sold illegal drugs (including marijuana) before.
  • You need to have a high school diploma or the GED.
  • You have to be medically cleared. You will also be screened for prior drug use.
  • Your background will be investigated.
  • You will have to pass the interview, a psychological evaluation, a written exam, and a polygraph test.
  • You also need to be physically fit.

These are all minimum requirements according to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZ-POST), but some police departments in Arizona can have much more stringent demands.

Phoenix Police Department

Before you even get to the Academy, you will already have to first meet physical agility requirements of the Phoenix Police Department, which include a 1.5 mile run, sit-ups, push-ups and the ability to scale a 6 foot wall.

The Phoenix Police also requires that within the last 36 months you have fewer than 8 driving violations points, no more than one chargeable accident, and a driver’s license that was not cancelled, refused, suspended or revoked. You also need to prove that you have an excellent employment record and that you have a good credit.

As a recruit, you can earn about $20.13 per hour during your 18 weeks in the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy. That translates to $3,489.20 a month. Once you graduate, you may then expect an annual salary of 45,094.40.That jumps to $47,715.20 after just six months.

That is, if you pass the Academy training. The training you will have to go through is an intense combination of mental, psychological, and physical training. The physical fitness test alone can be daunting. You will need to accumulate 384 points, and those points will depend on your performance on the following tasks:

  • You have to be able to run a mile and a half. And you are not allowed to stop or even walk during the test. Your time will be noted.
  • You need to perform sit-ups. The number of sit-ups you can do within a minute will be taken into account.
  • The tester will also note how many pushups you can perform properly. The pushups will be done until you can’t do any more.
  • Your standing vertical jump will also be recorded.
  • The time it takes for you to sprint 300 meters will also be noted.
  • You will then have to run around traffic cones for 30 feet.

This is the kind of training that can really force you to quit or fail, which is why you will need a superb training tool to get you through. Learning how to prepare for the police academy is crucial. One of the best review materials is Prepare for the Police Academywritten by someone who actually became a police officer. This gives you the tips you need so that you know what to do during the entire application process. You’ll also get some advice on how to do better at the physical tests.

Tucson Police Department

Once you complete the training and you are sworn in, you can earn an annual starting salary of $45,965 as a Tucson Police Officer. You’ll also receive $640 as a safety equipment allowance every year, plus a $420 uniform allowance ($620 if you are in plainclothes).

The TPD application process starts by noting your performance in physical agility tests, which involves a 1.5 mile run, a minute of sit-ups, a minute of pushups, a 300-meter sprint, and vertical leaps.

After that, your background will be investigated, a psych evaluation will be administered, your health must be checked, and you will be screened for drug use.

You’ll then get your basic training at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center. Part of your training requires you to complete the POPART test, and failure will mean instant dismissal. The test includes a timed 500-yard run, a timed 99-yard obstacle course, dragging a 165-pound dummy, and climbing chain link fence and a wall (both of which are 6 feet high).

In addition, you will be timed on a mile and a half run, and you will be asked to do one minute sit-ups and pushups.

Mesa Police Department

This can be a great place to be. It’s considered one of the safest cities in the nation, and as a starting police office you can earn $50,960 a year. The top police offers earn $72,862. You can also go for a college degree with the police department’s help, as $8,124 of your tuition will be reimbursed.

They use the standard Arizona application process, although they stress the importance of college level courses in criminal justice. Your chances are also better if you can speak both English and Spanish.

Chandler Police Department

The requirements you need to meet are set forth by the State of Arizona. As for the physical requirements, you need to be able to do 31 pushups with no time limit, 31 sit-ups in a minute, and run a mile and a half in 14 minutes and 29 seconds.

You can then start on $24.94 per hour, but you may be able to earn the maximum of 35.42 per hour.

Glendale Police Department

As a recruit in the Police Academy, you can earn $49,026 in annual salary. That becomes $52,492 once you graduate. Their requirements mirror the AZ-POST. However, the 1.5 mile run must be completed in just 13 minutes and 59 seconds, and you also need to do 28 sit-ups in a minute, plus 19 proper pushups.

All these requirements seem a bit too tough, but you can prepare for them properly by using the right review materials.

How To Become a Cop in Alabama

 Becoming a cop is one of the best ways to serve your community, and if you are in Alabama they’ll probably have a great need for you. Alabama has a crime rate that’s higher than the national average. In 201, Alabama had 4,026 crimes compared to the national state average of 3,169. The national state average for violent crimes was 346, and Alabama had 420 of those for that year.

The State of Alabama requires police departments to provide 480 hours of academic instruction, but some police departments offer more hours than this. Some police departments may also have more stringent aptitude and physical fitness requirements as well.

Birmingham Police Department

To become a cop in Birmingham, you first need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • US citizenship with a valid State of Alabama driver’s license
  • At least 21 years of age
  • High school diploma or a GED equivalent
  • Pass a physical examination
  • And you need to have a good moral character and reputation, with no felony convictions and an honorable discharge from the military.

Then you have to pass the following grueling tests, which may include:

  • Written exam for Civil Service
  • Pre-Employment Physical Fitness Screening administered by the Birmingham Police Department
  • Polygraph test and Background Investigation
  • Physical Examination and Psychological Screening

You will then need to pass the Birmingham Police Academy. This includes about 920 hours of training. You’ll need to demonstrate your proficiency in subjects such as criminal law, search and seizure, patrol procedures, police community relations and first aid. You will also need to be familiar with firearms and defensive tactics.

Finally, you have to be very fit. The Physical Fitness test standards for the Alabama PD are very exacting. You need to be agile enough to scale a fence that’s 6 feet high and go through windows that measure two feet on each side. You need to be able to walk on a balance beam for 5 yards. You need enough endurance to run a mile and half in under 15 minutes and 28 seconds. You also have to be strong enough to drag a 165lb dummy for 5 yards and push a car for 15 feet.

A recruit of the Birmingham Police Department earns $35,609.60 when they have a high school diploma or GED. With an Associate’s Degree or 64 semester hours of college you can earn $37,356.80. With a 4-year degree, it’s 39,270.40.

Montgomery Police Department

The Montgomery Police Department has the same basic minimum requirements to apply, but the minimum age is 19 years old. You also need to live within an hour’s response time from police headquarters.

As a cadet, you’ll earn an annual salary of $35,403. After that, you may earn anywhere from $36,534.00 to $45,573 per year. You can apply online at the City-County Personnel Website.

Mobile Police Department

As a rookie, your pay will depend on the level of education you have attained prior to joining the force. High school graduates earn $29,361, while those with an associate’s degree earn $30,848. A bachelor’s degree can get you a salary of $32,410, while possessing a Master’s degree gets you $34,050.

But before you get those salaries you’ll need to go through anywhere from 600 to 700 hours of police instruction. You’ll need to learn the law and about police procedures, and you will also need to learn combat and weapons training as well as defensive tactics. You’ll also have to go through 80 hours of instruction about especially dangerous situations, such as pursuits or arrests involving weapons. You will also need to pass physical fitness standards as well.

You will first have to visit the Mobile County Personnel Board to see if the Mobile PD is currently hiring. When a job opening is posted, you’ll then learn the details you need to know. In general, the Mobile requirements are those of the average Policeacademy requirements in Alabama for applicants (19 years old, valid driver’s license, high school graduate, physically and mentally fit, and good moral character).


The Huntsville PD also has more stringent standards as well. You need to be at least 20 years old, and you have to be 21 by the time you graduate from the Police Academy. The first requirement is all about your physical fitness, and you must pass the tests before you continue your application. Fail just one part of the test, and you fail the entire test.

  1. You need to do 22 pushups in 1 minute. You also need to do those pushups (and any of the exercises you’ll have to do later) properly. For example, if you don’t keep your body straight, then the pushup won’t count. And if you allow any part of your body except your hands and feet to touch the floor, you are automatically disqualified.
  2. You need to do 25 sit-ups properly within 1 minute.
  3. The next exercise combines five specific parts. You have to push a patrol vehicle with a person inside a distance of 15 feet. You then have to run 150 feet until you climb a 60foot fence (made of either wood or chain link). Next, you have to run another 150 feet before you go through a window opening that is about 24 square inches wide. Then it’s another run of 75 feet and you have to walk on a suspended six-inch wide beam for 15 feet. Then it’s another 75-foot run before you carry or drag a dummy that weighs 165 pounds for fifteen feet. You need to complete all these things one after another, within 90 seconds.
  4. Then you need to be able to run a mile and a half within 15 minutes and 28 seconds.

That’s just the first requirement. There are other tests as well, including a drug screening and a polygraph test. You can learn more by going to the Huntsville Police Academy website.

Tuscaloosa Police Department

The age requirement here is 21, and the physical fitness requirements resemble those required by the Huntsville PD.

Learning how to prepare for the police academy can be very difficult, especially if you don’t know what you need to know. The best way to prepare is to study review materials prepared by those who actually passed the Academy, such as the Prepare for the Police Academy review guide. This is extremely well written, very comprehensive, and full of tips that can help you prepare properly for what’s in store for you.

CT Police Officer Requirements


If you are interested in joining the Bridgeport Police Department or any police department in Connecticut for that matter, you’ll need to prepare yourself physically and mentally. According to the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training council, all aspiring police officers have to pass the academy and get certification to become an officer.


Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements.

  • Must be a US citizen.
  • The applicant has to be at least 19 years old.
  • You must have a GED or a high school diploma
  • Must have a valid Connecticut driver’s license.
  • Applicants have to pass the physical examination before being appointed.
  • Applicants with felony convictions will be disqualified.
  • If you served in the military, an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces.

The Selection Process

Because the job is demanding, you must meet and pass the physical fitness test standards that come with the training. In addition to the pre-employment physical screening test, the selection process will include the following:

  • Background investigation
  • An in-depth psychological assessment
  • Applicants will also be subjected to a polygraph exam.
  • A written Civil Service Examination is also required.

Physical Training and Preparation

Training is very demanding physically so you must be in shape before you even think about applying. It will help too if you do a lot of pushups, sit ups and jogging to lose those extra pounds and make your body more flexible. This point cannot be overemphasized enough since Connecticut requires applicants to meet the state’s minimum fitness standards.

For instance, at the New Haven Police Department fitness training, you’ll be asked to scale a fence at least six feet high, drag a dummy weighing 150 to 175 lbs. five yards or more, and walk on a balance beam for at least 5 yards. In addition to this, candidates have to:

  • Push a car 15 feet.
  • Run 1 and a half miles in 15 minutes.
  • Crawl in a 2 x 2 ft. window.
  • Exercises include pushups, sit ups, running, and more. These workouts moreover, are timed and there are strict rules on how to do each routine.

Because of the intense nature of the physical fitness test, you need to get in shape before you join. If you want to learn how to prepare for the police academy you can try, which is a complete step by step guide for passing the exam. In addition, the guide includes over 200 practice test questions.

Academic and Field Training

Apart from the physical training, you also have to undergo the academic curriculum, which totals more than 900 hours including the 480 hours mandated by the Connecticut police force. The training schedule is usually five days a week, 8 hours a day and takes 20 weeks to complete.

The subjects taught varies, but at the Stamford Police Department candidates have to learn about defensive tactics, proper use of firearms, first aid and community relations. In addition, the curriculum will include but not be limited to, studying of patrol procedures, criminal law and search and seizure. All candidates need to complete all the physical and written exams and pass the background check to be considered.

After completing the academic training, you will be assigned to an FTO (Field Training Officer). During this part of the training, you will be required to meet or exceed the standards set by the state for its police officers, as it serves as a transition point from training to actual police duty. The duration of the program varies per county, but usually it is at least 16 weeks. Once you pass the training you can begin your career or choose from select fields. Among your career options are a detective, bomb technician, patrol officer, freeway patrol or an academy instructor among others.

Salary and Benefits

Salaries vary depending on which police department you apply. At the Hartford Police Department you’ll have an annual salary of $50,407, while at the Waterbury Police Department it is $43,423. Aside from salaries however, police officers in Connecticut receive additional benefits such as educational incentive pay, a deferred retirement option plan, dental insurance and full pay while completing studies at the academy. Many of the departments also provide group life insurance, group medical benefits and additional incentives.

Aside from these, those who pass the physical and written examand become police officers can avail of a 20 year retirement plan, get military leave, deferred compensation and a pension plan.

How to Prepare Yourself

Obviously the single most important thing you need to do to increase your chances of passing the test is to get in shape. You don’t need to hit the gym every day, although that will help, but working out at home is a good alternative.

Aside from working out, you can also go online and use the Internet to help with your studies and preparation. Here are some online resources you can try.

The links provided above cover a lot of ground and are not limited to the written and physical exams. Most of them also provide advice for applicants so you can prepare yourself for the polygraph test, the oral interview and how to keep focused during the exam. The most important thing you need to remember during the written examination is to focus. If you do that and you’re physically fit, your chances of passing will be high.