If you are planning on becoming a police officer in Arizona, there are several things that you need to be aware of. These include meeting the minimum requirements criteria, undergoing physical and written tests, passing an oral examination and others.
Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Arizona
The requirements to become a police officer in Arizona are set by the Arizona Peace Offerings Standards and Training (POST) Board. These general requirements are applicable to all police officers in the state. Additional stipulations may be added to these standards by individual police departments. For instance, while the general standard set by POST may only require high school education, some police departments may require at least an associate degree or higher. Let’s take a look at these requirements:
Age, Nationality and Education
Candidates applying to become police officers in Arizona must meet the following requirements. They should:
- Be US citizens
- Have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent
- At least be 21 years of age when they graduate from the police academy
- Have a valid driver’s license for Arizona
- Not have any felony convictions
Besides the basic requirements listed above, applicants will have to successfully pass the following exams:
- Physical examination: This would include a set of sit-ups and push-ups, along with a 1.5 mile run, an agility run and a 300-meter run
- Written examination: This would include a 100-multiple choice question exam that candidates would be required to pass with a 75% or higher average
- Oral examination: This will involve an interview consisting of questions relating to interpersonal and problem solving skills
- Polygraph test: This is basically a lie detector test administered by a trained professional examiner
- Background test: This will be done after you have cleared the written and physical tests
- Medical checkup: Applicants will go through a complete medical checkup by a licensed practitioner
- Drug test: This will basically be a controlled substance screening
- Psychological evaluation: This will be conducted by a licensed psychologist
Police Departments in Arizona
There are several police departments in the state of Arizona. Let’s take a detailed look at a few of them.
Phoenix: Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United Statesand its population of over one million is served by nearly 3,000 officers and 1,000 support personnel at the Phoenix Police Department. The Phoenix Police Department is the largest PD in the State of Arizona and has a budget of $600 million. It has six divisions and 23 bureaus in total. The current Police Chief is Jeri Williams, who was appointed in October 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University.
Mesa: The Mesa Police Department (MPD) is responsible for the safekeeping of the third largest city in Arizona and the 38th largest in the country. It has more than 50 units and 4 substations (Fiesta Police Division, Central Police Division, Superstition Police Division and Red Mountain Police Division). The current chief at the Mesa Police Department is Chief Ramon Batista, who was appointed to this position in July 2017. He has multiple years of experience and has also served at the Tucson Police Department.
Tucson: The Tucson Police Department offers a great job variety and opportunities for growth to new police recruits. The mission of the department is based on its seven core values, which are excellence, integrity, leadership, fairness, teamwork, personal responsibility and service orientation. The current Chief of Police is Chris Magnus, who has previously served in Lansing and in Richmond, California. He was appointed as the police chief in January of 2016. He has a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations along with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the Michigan State University.
Job Outlook for Police Officers in Arizona
According to May 2016 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona currently has 11,550 Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers employed in the state, with an annual mean wage of $62,470. The mean wage within the state varies according to area. The following bar chart shows different areas and their respective mean salaries. The key below is applicable to both bar charts.
- Code Location
- A Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
- B Arizona Non-Metropolitan Area
- C Flagstaff
- D Tucson, Arizona
- E Sierra Vista – Douglas
- F Lake Havasu city-Kingman
- G Yuma
The following bar graph depicts the number of police and sheriff’s patrol officers employed in different areas, with the highest employment being in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area and the lowest being in Sierra Vista – Douglas.
Police Training Academies in Arizona
If you have met all the requirements and successfully passed the necessary exams, you will have to then complete a training program at one of the following police training academies in the state.
- Arizona Law Enforcement Agency – Phoenix, AZ
- Mesa Police Department Training Academy – Mesa, AZ
- Pima County Sheriff’s Department – Tucson, AZ
- Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center – Tucson, AZ
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Training Academy – Phoenix, AZ
- Arizona Correctional Officer Training Academy – Phoenix, AZ
- Western Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center – Lake Havasu City, AZ
Police officers in Arizona put in all their efforts to protect the nearly 6.7 million citizens of the state. These officers fight crime and work hard to maintain law and order in the various communities of the state. If you are an aspiring police officer in the state of Arizona, there are a lot of great career opportunities for you here. So keep yourself updated and don’t miss out on them.