As you can imagine, the crime rate in Nevada is quite high due to the influx of tourists who want to try their luck in casinos. If you want to be a Nevada police officer, you have to realize that the state is ranked among the most dangerous states in the whole country. It has the worst rates for robbery, motor-vehicle theft and aggravated assault in the nation. It also ranks as one of the worst in burglaries and forcible rape. It registers 607.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people (second highest in the country).
Types of Nevada Police Officers
Nevada’s Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (POST) Commission designates three categories of officers.
- Category 1. These are the regular cops you are familiar with. They’re the ones who carry firearms, engage in vehicular pursuits, and arrest suspects. Their training is the most rigorous, and if you want to be a POST-qualified peace officer in this category you’ll usually need to attend an academy for six months. The minimum is 480 hours of training.
You’ll need to be in this category to be a sheriff’s deputy, and even university and municipal police agencies get their personnel only from this category.
- Category 2. While you have the same powers and responsibilities as the real cops in this category, you don’t get as much training. You only undergo 200 hours of instruction. These are the people guarding school districts, community colleges, and courtrooms. They can also work for the state’s Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Inspector General, the Nevada Transportation Authority, and the Gaming Control Board.
- Category 3. The officers here are the jail and prison guards. You spend two months and get 160 hours of training to handle inmates.
Nevada Police Requirements
Every police officer in the state of Nevada must abide by the requirements set forth by the POST. The list of requirements is rather lengthy, but they include standards such as:
- US citizen
- 21 years old at the time of appointment to the police department
- Completed the 12th grade or equivalent
- Pass the medical exam
- A background check that includes your criminal record, financial history, and educational background. You must have no felony on your record, and no crimes involving illegal drugs, moral turpitude, or a documented history of physical violence. You also must not have been involved in any misconduct regarding dishonesty if you have been employed in civil service.
- Psych evaluation
- Drug screening
- Polygraph test
Of course, many police departments and agencies add extra requirements, but as a police officer in Nevada you have to abide by all of these.
Nevada Physical Agility Requirements
Once you are accepted at an accredited police academy, you have to complete the Police academy requirements in Nevada which involves a written exam for each course.
You also need to pass the physical fitness test standards for Category 1 officers if you want to be a real cop:
- 11.5 inches vertical leap
- 24 sit-ups in one minute
- 18 pushups
- 1 minute and 22 seconds to run 300 meters
- 20 minutes and 20 seconds to walk or run a mile and a half
- 23.4 seconds to complete an agility run
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
The application process for the Las Vegas Metropolitan PD is very long. The LVMPD requirements (aside from the POST) include:
- 21 years old at application
- No felonies, no more than one DUI, and no domestic violence convictions
- No visible tattoos, branding or jewelry
- Must have 20/20 vision (corrected or uncorrected)
If your application passes the screening, then you have to attend a Police Recruit Seminar. You’ll then be scheduled for a Personal History Questionnaire Screener, in which you will answer questions about your past. You will be scored immediately, and you can only progress further if you pass.
You will then take a written exam, and then take the physical fitness test. After that, there’s an interview, a background check, a psych evaluation (written and oral), a polygraph test, a medical exam, and a drug screen. Then you’ll have to pass the POST physical fitness test before you attend the Academy (or at least within the first two weeks of the academy).
You have to pass the first LVMPD fitness test before you can proceed. The standards for that are:
- 14 inches vertical leap
- 30 correct sit-ups in one minute
- 23 correct pushups
- 1 minute and 8 seconds to run 300 meters
- 16 minutes and 57 seconds to walk or run a mile and a half
Henderson Police Department
While the application process isn’t as complicated here as it is for the LVMPD, the Henderson PD has its own physical fitness standards which are exactly the same as the requirements of the LVMPD. The only difference is that you have 19.5 seconds to complete an agility run.
North Las Vegas Police Department
NLVPD application process is essentially the same as that of Henderson PD. Its minimum requirements are also similar, except that you have to be 21 years old when you apply and you don’t use tobacco.
Its physical fitness test standards are very different:
- 14 inches vertical leap
- 15 correct sit-ups in one minute
- 18 correct pushups
- 1 minute and 17 seconds to run 300 meters
- 17 minutes and 57 seconds to walk or run a mile and a half
Reno Police Department
While the Reno PD uses the usual application process, it also has its own physical fitness standards:
- 80 pounds grip strength
- 20 seconds to complete the bend, twist, and touch speed test
- 32 correct sit-ups in one minute
- 24 correct pushups
- 19 seconds to run 100 yards
- 15 minutes and 20 seconds to walk or run a mile and a half
Sparks Police Department
- 24 semester units of college-level coursework in one of the relevant fields (law enforcement, sociology, etc.)
- Nevada POST Certificate
- Officer in the Sparks Police Department Reserve program
- Honorable discharge from the military
Learning how to prepare for the police academy is crucial, and you have to make sure that you get the right study materials. One of the best preparatory materials you can use is the Prepare for the Police Academy review manual, which offers a lot of instruction for every step of the application process. The author is an actual police officer who has a degree in psychology, a certified personal trainer, and also strength and conditioning expert. His tips on what you have to do to prepare can be the difference in whether or not you become a cop in Nevada.