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.

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