Police and Law Enforcement General Job Requirements

Police Jobs and their Requirements: Learning the basic job requirements for police officers should be one of the first things you do before spending thousands of dollars and hours of training in a criminal justice course that could be all for nothing. Below is a basic template of most police job requirements. If you would like to get more in-depth information on this, and help yourself prepare for this position (i.e. answering tough questions in oral boards, preparing for interviews, where to apply, etc.), download the official REAL POLICE Training Guide Manual, written by a real police officer.

Police Jobs and their Requirements: Basic police officer law enforcement job requirements


At least 21 years of age at time of application.


Police Jobs and their Requirements: Must have a two-year associate's degree, or at least 60 accredited college credit hours or any equivalent amount of active, full-time military experience, including military training/education (two complete years of military experience is equivalent to one year of education or 30 credit hours). All college credit hours must be at a college or university accredited by the North Central Commission on Higher Education, or written verification that credits would transfer to a college or university that is accredited by the North Central Commission on Higher Education, all of which has been completed with a minimum grade of "C" or better, or "credit" when taken with a credit/no credit option, at time of application.


Police Jobs and their Requirements: At least two years of work and/or life experience directly relating to a combination of skills and experiences including at least two of the following areas:

Demonstrated community involvement and experience working with youth, the disabled community, the elderly, or with drug/alcohol intervention issues.
Interviewing, public speaking, and conflict resolution skills.

Demonstrated ability to solve problems using creative methods to resolve issues.

Positive multi-cultural work and life experiences.

Stable work history.

Valid driver's license and acceptable driving record.


Ability to do the following tasks to acceptable standards

Police Jobs and their Requirements:
Learn and apply new information.
Communicate effectively, verbally, in writing, and interpersonally.
Work effectively as an individual and team member.
Interact and work with others appropriately and effectively in a work place and community of diverse cultures, ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Assert self appropriately.
Accept responsibility, acknowledge mistakes, and share successes.
Be dependable.
Comply with laws, rules, regulations, and procedures.
Maintain composure and perform effectively in stressful situations.
Exercise good judgment.
Solve problems with innovation and creativity, including alternatives which involve taking risks.
Provide effective and efficient services with courtesy, responsiveness, and competence.
Use computers for reports, communications, and information retrieval.
Ability to provide services in cooperation with the community in a manner consistent with the XX Police Department and the City of XX mission statement and a value-based management system.
Ability to adapt to change and changes in work conditions, and work in an environment of growth and innovation.
Ability to learn and perform department self-defense and control techniques and the use and control of firearms.

Physical Requirements

Police Jobs and their Requirements: Ability to perform essential physical functions of the job. This includes, by way of example only, corrected visual acuity of 20/30 in both eyes; no marked red-green deficiency of color vision and no dimming of red objects; normal depth perception; no significant interference with night vision; no significant loss of peripheral vision; strabismus which is accompanied by double vision and not correctable. This will also include no hearing loss of greater than 46 decibels in the 3,000 cps range. Applicants who are otherwise qualified but cannot meet specific standards due to a disability as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act may be given an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform the job through individual testing, or may contact the City of XX Risk Manager about reasonable accommodations.

Background Information

Demonstrated personal and professional honesty, integrity, and good judgment as shown in applicant's criminal history, background, and motor vehicle record. The following will disqualify any applicant from consideration:

Police Jobs and their Requirements:
Any felony conviction.
Any commission of a felony in the previous five years, including felonious drug use or possession.
Any non-traffic related misdemeanor within the previous 36 months.
Any domestic violence violations, conviction or restraints which could preclude possession of a firearm.
Eight points or three moving violation convictions, or a suspended, restricted, or revoked license in the previous 24 months.
Any false or untrue statements, or material omissions in the application and related paperwork or during the selection process.
Other Considerations
City of XX Nepotism Policy requires that applicants who are related to Police Department employees identify themselves at the time of application. Those applicants related to XX Police Department employees at or above the rank of Commander will not be eligible for consideration.

Desired Qualifications

Note: "Desired qualifications" are differentiated from "requirements." Requirements are those minimum qualifications needed to apply and to be considered. Desired qualifications are not absolutely necessary to apply and be considered, however, they are weighed with the totality of applicable information when hiring decisions are made.
Four-year college degree from an accredited college or university.
Bilingual in English/Spanish or English/Southeast Asian languages.
Knowledge of the XX area and community.
XX Peace Officer Certification.
Experience and demonstrated skills working with computers; typing proficiency of at least 35 wpm.
Documented proficiency in the use of a double-action, semi-auto handgun, 12 ga shotgun or rifles (Colt AR-15, Ruger Mini-14).
Law Enforcement Commission
Those selected to fill police officer positions who are not yet certified will be sent to an approved academy. All new hires will not be commissioned, will not have arrest powers nor any other authority given to "Peace Officers" or "Police Officers" as defined by the XX Revised Statutes, until successful completion of the academy and satisfaction of all of the requirements of the State of XX Police Officer Standards and Training Board and of the XX Police Department.

The costs associated with sending individuals to a police academy (including tuition and books) will be considered a loan to be paid off by successful completion of two years of service. Any individual who fails to successfully complete this commitment shall be expected to reimburse the XX Police Department for these costs proportionate to the length of service. An individual who fails to successfully complete one year of service shall be expected to reimburse the department for 100% of the costs; one to two years, 50% of the costs; after two years, 0%.

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