How to Become a Cop in Colorado

Colorado crime rates present a mixed picture, as per data from the FBI 2012-2016. Some cities have had increasing incidences of crimes, while some cities have had improved their security situation over the years. For instance, the cities where crime has risen the most are Lone Tree, Durango, Lakewood, Westminster and Wheat Ridge. On the other hand, the cities which have seen a drop in crime include Colorado Springs, Fruita, Fort Collins, Steamboat Springs and Evans.

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In either case, it can be said without a doubt that the law enforcement personnel are working hard to keep things under control. If you want to join these officers in helping control the crime situation in Colorado, then the following information on how to become a police officer in Colorado would be of interest to you.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Colorado
How to Become a Police Officer in Colorado

Career Requirements

Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Assertiveness, Quick Thinker, Teamwork, Physical Stamina, Strong Moral Character, Courage, Active Listener, Community Knowledge, Ethics, Persuasiveness, Negotiation Skills
Annual Mean Salary – Colorado, CO (2021) $80,620 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Colorado, CO (2018-2028) 15% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*Net Online

Steps for becoming a Police Officer in Colorado

Bear in mind that the following is a list of general steps applicable to most cities in Colorado. Specific police departments and jurisdictions might have their own individual set of requirements. Make sure you check with the relevant department before beginning the application process.

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria
  1. Pass the relevant law enforcement exam – the Ergometrics Frontline Exam
  1. File the required documents including driving license, credit reports etc
  1. Clear a thorough background check
  1. Receive your conditional job offer
  1. Clear the testing phase including a physical fitness exam, medical exam, substance abuse screening and psychological exam
  1. Get certified and receive your final job offer
  1. Attend a police training academy

Requirements to become a Police Officer in Colorado

The requirements to become a police officer in Colorado would vary according to jurisdiction. But most cities would have the following general requirements in place:

  • All candidates must be at least 21 years of age by the time they start academy
  • All candidates ought to be citizens of the US
  • All candidates must have a high school diploma or a GED
  • All candidates must possess a valid driver’s license
  • All candidates need to have a correctable visual accuracy of 20/20 along with normal color vision
  • Candidates need to be physically fit
  • Candidates should be fluent in English

How long does it take to become a Police Officer in Colorado?

It can take around 2 years after high school to become a police officer in Colorado. These two years would include the time taken for the application process, which would typically be a few weeks, and the time taken to complete a police training academy, which can go up to 20-26 weeks. You might also be on probation for the first year of your job.

How much does a Police Officer make in Colorado?

O*Net Online forecasts a 15% increase in employment opportunities for police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Colorado between 2018 and 2028. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 7%. $80,620 was the mean annual salary of police officers in Colorado, CO as per BLS in 2021. Below are the top 5 highest paying states for this occupation in the US in 2021.

State Annual Mean Wage 
California $102,920
Washington $92,390
New Jersey $91,690
Alaska $87,510
Illinois $82,800

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

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