Become A Police Officer in MS

Do you want to be a member of any police department in Mississippi? Whether you want to join the Jackson police department or Gulfport police department, you need to meet the minimum police academy requirements in Mississippi, such as the following:

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You must be a US citizen
  • You must have a good moral character (with no felony convictions)
  • You should have at least a high school diploma

If you meet all of these requirements, then you can fill out an application form which you can obtain from the HR department at the city hall. Fill out the application form legibly, as well as the required documents.  Once you have submitted these requirements, then you can start preparing for the written exam.

The written exam will assess you decision making and cognitive abilities. It will specifically gauge your ability to read and understand factual materials, and choose the right course of action found on specific policies and guidelines.

Physical Fitness Tests

The physical fitness test will assess how healthy you are to be part of the police force. You have to pass the entry level fitness test by scoring at least 51 percent.

There are several components of the physical fitness test standards like the trunk flexion test. It assesses the strength and flexibility of the back and hamstrings.

If you are a man under 30 years old, you should be flexible enough to register at least 11 inches. If you are a woman under 30, you should register at least 12 inches of flexibility. For men between 30 to 39 years old, the minimum requirement is 10 inches while those who are over 40 should get at least 9 inches. For women who are between 30 to 39 years old, the minimum requirement is 11 inches while 10 inches is the minimum for women aged over 40 years old.

Another component is the agility test, with applicants needing to move in various directions as quickly as possible.  You would also have to do at least 52 push-ups in one minute if you are under 30 years of age, or 26 if you are over 40 years old. If you are a woman aged 21 years and younger, you need to complete 28 push-ups in one minute. The minimum number gets lower as the age advances, with 12 push-ups required for those who are over 52 years of age.

You will also be asked to run 1.5 miles. If you are a man over 30 but under 40 years old, you should finish the course in 15 minutes and 30 seconds or less. If you are more than 40 years old, you ought to complete it in 16 minutes and 30 seconds. If you are under 30 years old, then you have to cross the finish line in 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

Panel Interview

Once you have hurdled the exhausting physical fitness test, then you will go through the panel interview as conducted by officials of the police department you are applying with, such as Hattiesburg police department.  The interview would center on your past employment as well as your educational background. The police officers will also look into your ability to communicate yourself well.

Keep in mind that your answers are on record, and that the veracity of your replies will be checked later on. If the interviewers find out that you are not truthful even on things that appear to be insignificant to you, then you will be automatically disqualified. Integrity is a key trait that police officials look for in prospective cops like you.

Background Investigation

All your answers during the panel interview will be scrutinized during the background investigation. The investigators will interview your past employers, character references, neighbors, colleagues, former coworkers and even your family members to verify all the information you have given. Your driving history and financial records will likewise be examined. The investigators will check if you really are of good moral character.

You’ll also go through polygraph test to check if you were lying during the panel interview. The examiner may ask you questions regarding any issues that were discussed during your application, like the times you have been late for work per month in your previous employer. The examiner may also ask if you have had any cases of substance abuse, or if you have lied to your past boss about being sick.

Medical Exams

If you make it this far in the application process, then the next step would be the medical examination.  Tests like blood, medical physical, vision, hearing, respiratory, and cardiovascular exams will be undertaken by a licensed physician.

You’ll also be subjected to a psychological evaluation. A licensed psychiatrist will handle this part, and the professional will assess your mental health and capacity to make speedy, objective judgments even when you are under extreme duress.  This test will determine if you are mentally stable.

Once you have been cleared by the physician and psychiatrist, you’ll enter the police academy. Here, you’ll learn first aid basics, legal procedures, patrolling, driving maneuvers, community policing, and most importantly, self defense.

How to Prepare for the Police Academy

Indeed, it is very difficult to enter the police academy in Mississippi. Whether you intend to join the Southhaven police department or the Biloxi police department, you have to prove that you have the physical, emotional, psychological, and mental abilities to become a valuable member of the police force.

The rewards are not to be scoffed at. The pay is good, with the starting annual salary in Mississippi for police officers ranging in the $40,000 mark. Benefits include social security, disability, health care, pension, and time off pay.

You can get ready for entering the academy by reading the “Prepare for the Police Academy” guide found online via  Learn more about what to expect during the entire police application process, as well as tips on how to ace the exams.

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