The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is the primary law enforcement agency in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1873, it has grown significantly over the years and plays a critical role in maintaining public safety in one of the largest cities in the United States.

Organizational Structure

Leadership: Headed by the Chief of Police, the APD’s leadership also includes deputy chiefs, majors, and other high-ranking officers.

Units and Divisions: The department is divided into various specialized units and divisions, including Homicide, Narcotics, Cyber Crimes, Traffic and DUI Enforcement, and a SWAT team. These specialized divisions allow for focused expertise in different areas of law enforcement.

Community Policing: Emphasizing community engagement, the APD implements community policing strategies aimed at building trust and cooperation between officers and Atlanta residents.

Featured Programs and Schools

Responsibilities and Operations

Crime Prevention and Investigation: The APD is responsible for preventing and investigating crimes, ranging from petty thefts to serious felonies.

Traffic Management: Managing traffic and ensuring road safety is a key aspect of their duties, particularly given Atlanta’s heavy traffic conditions.

Public Safety Initiatives: The department engages in various public safety programs and initiatives, often collaborating with other agencies and community groups.

Training and Equipment

Officer Training: APD officers undergo rigorous training in various aspects of law enforcement, including use-of-force, community relations, and legal procedures.

Technology and Equipment: The department employs modern technology and equipment, including advanced communication systems, vehicles, and weapons, to enhance its operational efficiency.

Challenges and Community Relations

Challenges: Like many urban police departments, the APD faces challenges such as crime rate fluctuations, resource allocation, and addressing concerns about police conduct.

Community Engagement: Efforts to improve relations with the community and address issues of police accountability and transparency are ongoing priorities.

Notable Achievements and Programs

The APD has been involved in various successful crime reduction initiatives and community outreach programs, receiving recognition for its efforts in improving public safety and community relations.

The Atlanta Police Department, with its rich history and evolution, continues to adapt and respond to the dynamic needs of Atlanta’s diverse community, striving to ensure safety and uphold the law with integrity and professionalism.

Atlanta Police Officer Requirements

To become an officer with the Atlanta Police Department (APD), there are several requirements and qualifications that candidates must meet. These requirements are designed to ensure that officers are well-equipped to handle the responsibilities of law enforcement in a diverse and dynamic urban environment.

The requirements to become an officer with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) are:

Basic Qualifications

  • Citizenship: Candidates must be United States citizens or have naturalization documentation​​​​​​.
  • Age: The minimum age requirement is 20 years, and candidates must be at least six months past their 20th birthday​​​​. However, they must be at least 21 years old by the time they graduate from the police academy​​.
  • Education: A high school diploma or GED certificate is necessary​​​​​​.
  • Driver’s License: A valid driver’s license is required​​​​.
  • Military Service: If applicable, an honorable or uncharacterized discharge from a military branch is required​​​​.
  • Physical and Health Standards
  • Vision: Visual ability must be no less than 20/100 in each eye uncorrected and must be correctable to 20/20 with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery​​.
  • Physical Fitness: Candidates must meet high physical standards during their time at the Atlanta Police Academy​​.

Training and Examinations

  • Academy Training: The training program at the Atlanta Police Academy lasts for more than 20 weeks. It includes 80+ hours of physical training, 80 hours of defensive training, 48 hours of firearms training, and hundreds of hours of classroom instruction​​.
  • Physical Condition: Candidates should be in good physical condition before starting the academy. To qualify for an Academy class, they must run 1.5 miles in 14:30 or less and complete an obstacle course in less than 2 minutes. To graduate, the standards are slightly higher: running 1.5 miles in 13:30 or less and completing an obstacle course in less than 1 minutfe and 41 seconds with additional elements​​.
  • Other Assessments: Successful completion of a cognitive skills examination and personality assessment is required​​.
  • These requirements are indicative of the APD’s commitment to maintaining a highly trained, physically fit, and professional police force. Candidates considering a career with the APD should prepare thoroughly to meet these standards. For the most current and detailed information, it’s advisable to refer to the official Atlanta Police Department recruitment resources.

Steps to Become an Atlanta Police Officers

To become an Atlanta Police Officer, candidates must complete a series of steps as part of the hiring process. Here’s a summarized outline based on the information available from authentic sources:

Complete the Initial Online Application: Candidates must first complete an online application on the Atlanta Police Department’s official website​​​​.

Wait to be Contacted by a Background & Recruitment Investigator: After submitting the application, candidates will be contacted by an investigator for the next steps​​​​.

Undergo Various Assessments and Examinations: The selection process includes several assessments:

  • Written Exam
  • Physical Fitness Test
  • Polygraph Test
  • Drug Screening
  • Oral Board Interview
  • Background Investigation
  • Medical Examination
  • Psychological Test​​

Thorough Background Check: A comprehensive background check is conducted on the candidate​​.

Final Approval by the Chief of Police: The Chief of Police reviews the candidate’s file for final approval​​.

Notification of Joining Date: The Human Resource Department notifies the candidate about the joining date and other formalities​​.

Training Academy: Candidates undergo a rigorous training program at the Atlanta Police Department Training Academy before being sworn in as officers​​.

These steps provide a general guide to the hiring process for becoming an Atlanta Police Officer. However, it’s important for candidates to refer to the official Atlanta Police Department recruitment resources for the most current and detailed information.

Atlanta Police Training Academy

The Atlanta Police Training Academy plays a vital role in preparing new recruits for their careers in law enforcement within the city of Atlanta. This academy is designed to equip officers with the skills, knowledge, and mindset required for effective policing in a dynamic urban environment.

Basic Recruit Training

The core of the academy’s program is the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course. This course is rigorous and covers a wide range of topics. Recruits learn about criminal law, patrol techniques, firearms handling, defensive tactics, and emergency response. The training is both theoretical and practical, ensuring that recruits are well-prepared for the realities of police work.

Specialized Training Modules

The academy also offers specialized training modules that focus on various aspects of policing. These might include community policing strategies, traffic enforcement, drug enforcement, and investigation techniques. This specialized training allows officers to develop skills in specific areas of interest or need.

Physical Fitness and Defensive Tactics

Physical fitness is a crucial aspect of police training. The academy emphasizes the importance of staying in top physical condition. Recruits undergo rigorous physical training and learn defensive tactics to ensure they can handle the physical demands of the job.

Community-Oriented Policing

Understanding and engaging with the community is a critical aspect of modern policing. The Atlanta Police Training Academy likely places a strong emphasis on community-oriented policing strategies. This includes teaching recruits how to build trust and foster positive relationships within the communities they serve.

Use of Technology

With advancements in technology, modern policing has become more efficient and accountable. The academy trains recruits in the use of various technologies such as body-worn cameras, computer systems for reporting and investigation, and other law enforcement databases.

Ethics and Professionalism

The training program also includes a strong emphasis on ethics and professionalism. Understanding the ethical implications of their actions and maintaining a high standard of conduct is crucial for police officers.

Ongoing Training and Development

The learning process for officers doesn’t end with the basic training course. The Atlanta Police Department likely encourages continuous professional development through in-service training programs, workshops, and seminars to ensure officers stay up-to-date with the latest policing techniques and legal updates.

The Atlanta Police Training Academy, through its comprehensive and evolving curriculum, aims to produce well-trained, ethical, and community-focused police officers capable of effectively serving the diverse needs of the Atlanta community.

Salary of Police Officers in Atlanta

According to the Atlanta Police Department, a police officer’s starting salary is $52,865 which can go up to $78,253.28. The starting salary of a lateral police officer falls between $54,979.60 and $64,318.72. The highest salary bracket for a lateral police officer is also $78,253.28. Apart from that, police officers in Atlanta also received plenty of benefits, some of which are:

  • Pay Periods/Pay Checks.
  • Overtime/Compensatory Time.
  • United States Savings Bonds.
  • Life Insurance.
  • Sick Leaves.
  • Annual Leaves.
  • Maternity Leaves.
  • Educational Leaves.

Career Outlook for Police Officers in Atlanta

Following the national and state-wise job growth of the following law enforcement professions:

Occupation National Growth  (2022-2032) Georgia Growth (2020 and 2030)
Detectives and criminal investigators 1% 7%
Fish and game wardens -6% 5%
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers 3% 10%

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online

Atlanta Law Enforcement Careers

Pursuing a career in law enforcement in Atlanta offers a diverse range of opportunities, each with its own unique challenges and rewards. Here are some of the main career paths available:

Atlanta Police Department (APD) Officer

Becoming a police officer with the APD is a popular choice. It involves patrolling neighborhoods, responding to emergency calls, conducting investigations, and working closely with the community to maintain public safety. Officers must complete rigorous training at the police academy and ongoing professional development throughout their careers.

Detective or Investigator

For those interested in solving complex crimes, becoming a detective or investigator is a viable path. These roles typically require starting as a police officer and gaining experience before specializing in areas like homicide, narcotics, or cybercrime. Detectives gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work to solve cases, often requiring critical thinking and strong problem-solving skills.

Georgia State Patrol Officer

State Patrol officers focus on enforcing traffic laws, conducting vehicle inspections, and providing assistance during emergencies on state roads and highways. This role is essential for maintaining road safety and often involves responding to accidents and pursuing traffic violators.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy

Working as a deputy sheriff involves responsibilities such as court security, managing county jails, and serving legal documents. This role requires a balance of law enforcement and administrative skills, often involving interaction with different segments of the criminal justice system.

Federal Law Enforcement Careers

Atlanta is home to several federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, and Homeland Security. Careers in these agencies involve enforcing federal laws and can range from counterterrorism and drug enforcement to financial crimes and cyber threats. These positions often require specialized training and higher education.

Forensic Science Technicians

For those with a scientific bent, a career in forensic science in Atlanta can be fulfilling. Forensic technicians work in labs or in the field, analyzing evidence from crime scenes, which plays a crucial role in criminal investigations and legal processes.

Community Policing and Outreach

Officers and professionals focusing on community policing work to build trust and partnerships within Atlanta’s diverse communities. This career path emphasizes communication, cultural sensitivity, and community engagement to prevent crime and address community concerns.

Legal and Administrative Roles

Law enforcement also offers a range of legal and administrative careers, such as legal advisors, policy analysts, and administrative support roles. These positions support the broader mission of law enforcement agencies and require a variety of professional skills.

Each of these career paths requires a combination of physical fitness, mental sharpness, ethical integrity, and a strong commitment to public service. Continuous training, education, and a deep understanding of the law and community dynamics are also integral to success in these roles.


1)Qualifications | Atlanta Police Department:
2)Training Academy | Atlanta Police Department:
3)Hiring | Atlanta Police Department:
4)Salary & Benefits | Atlanta Police Department:
5)Police and Detectives Occupational Outlook Handbook:
6)Georgia Employment Trends Detectives and Criminal Investigators:
7)Georgia Employment Trends Fish and Game Wardens:
8)Georgia Employment Trends Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: