In Connecticut, law enforcement agencies operate under the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. As of 2021, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6,670 police and sheriff’s patrol officers employed in Connecticut.
To become a police officer in Connecticut the minimum requirement is high school diploma or equivalent but there are some law enforcement units that give preference to candidates who have an associate or bachelor’s degree. Typically, a police officer in Connecticut will be required to maintain traffic and conduct criminal investigations, along with making arrests of perpetrators. It is also their job to serve and protect the people of the state and their properties.
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If you are interested in becoming a police officer in CT, you need to be aware of the following information:
|Educational Requirements||At least 60 semester credit hours or equivalent|
|Experience/Training||Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Courage, Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, Devotion to Community, Written and Oral Communication, Public Relations, Ability to Gauge Situations, Critical Thinking, Observation.|
|Annual Mean Wage – US (2021)||$70,750 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)|
|Annual Mean Salary – Connecticut, CT (2021)||$76,360 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)|
|Job Outlook – Connecticut, CT (2020-2030)||10% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*Net Online
The Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST Council) in Connecticut has a list of standards that all potential law enforcement officers in the state need to fulfill. According to these requirements, all candidates must be:
- US citizen
- 21 years of age
- A high school diploma or GED
- No felony convictions and should not have been convicted of class A or B misdemeanors
- A valid driver’s license
If you meet these requirements, you will then need to know about vacancies in your locality. Once a vacancy comes up, submit an application online. If your application gets shortlisted, you will be called to begin the testing process.
Step Two: Written Examination
The written test is designed to determine various qualities that are important in the line of duty as a police officer. The test will be in a multiple-choice format and will describe different situations you might have to face in law enforcement.
Step Three: Interview
Once you have passed your written test, you will be asked to appear for an interview in front of a panel that includes at least one Connecticut POST officer.
Step Four: Fingerprinting and Background Investigation
If you manage to clear your test and interview both, you will be fingerprinted and your prints will be cross-checked against all police databases to check for a criminal record. A personal investigation of your background will also be conducted, including an in-depth review of your school performance, driving record, credit history, interpersonal relations and past employment.
Step Five: Physical Fitness Test
This test will have four timed components that will determine the level of your physical fitness. You will need to do the following:
- 1.5 mile run
- Sit and reach exercises
The timing of each of these will be according to your age and gender.
Step Six: Psychological Evaluation
Once your physical abilities have been tested and cleared, a psychological test will be conducted to determine your mental capabilities as a police officer.
Step Seven: Physical Exam and Drug Screening
A licensed physician will be appointed to carry out a thorough physical exam and drug screening.
Step Eight: Join an Academy
Once you have cleared all the previous steps, you will be asked to attend any of the police training academies in Connecticut such as the one in Meriden, CT. You will spend 22 weeks at this academy, training from 8AM to 6PM, Monday to Friday. The curriculum here will include 17 academic classes that will cover a wide range of topics relating to criminal justice, along with 12 practical skills classes. Cadets can go home on weekends only. After you graduate from this academy, you will spend an additional 400 hours for field training before you get a certification as a Bridgeport Police Officer.
Police Departments in Connecticut
Connecticut has two police departments – Bridgeport and New Haven.
Bridgeport:The Bridgeport Police Department consists of specialized units including the marine unite, scuba team, emergency services, detective bureau, mounted unit, hostage negotiators and narcotics enforcement.
New Haven: The New Haven Police Department (NHPD) has more than 440 sworn officers in its various sectors, including uniform patrol, identification division, investigative services bureau, major crimes division, narcotics division and criminal intelligence.
Police Training Academies in Connecticut
Prospective law enforcement officers will be required to complete 818 hours of standard basic training at a POST council approved training academy. Here they will be taught the following curriculum:
- Police and the law
- Patrol procedures
- Crime scene processing
- Criminal investigations
- Human relations
- Practicing police skills
If you are looking for police training academies in CT, the following list might be of some help:
- Bridgeport Police Department Training Academy – Bridgeport, CT
- Waterbury Police Academy – Waterbury, CT
- State Training Police Academy – Meriden, CT
- Hartford Police Academy – Hartford, CT
- Connecticut Police Academy – Meriden, CT
- New Haven Police Academy – New Haven, CT
The job prospects for police officers in Connecticut are promising since there are 94 municipal police departments in the state. According to data from O*NET Online, the state of Connecticut has projected 10% growth in employment between 2020 and 2030 for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. By 2030, the projected employment of police officers in the state is 6,220 employees. Once you have obtained training and experience in the field, there are several related paths that you can take as a law enforcement officer. These include:
- Secret Service Agent.
- Fish and Game Wardens.
- Criminal Investigator.
- Transportation Inspectors.
- Parole and Probation Officer.
- Private Investigator or Detective.
- Cyber Security.
- Forensic Expert.
- Crime Analyst.
Police Officer Salary in Connecticut
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), the annual mean wage of p police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Connecticut is $76,360. Besides the basic salary, police officers in Connecticut also enjoy other benefits like state car and gasoline, free uniforms, dry cleaning, medical and dental benefits, paid leaves, education incentives, and retirement benefits. Below is the list of the top five paying states for police officers.
|State||Annual Mean Wage|
|New Jersey||$ 91,690|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)
Details about Certification in Connecticut
A certificate is awarded after the minimum entry level requirements have been met, along with a successful completion of the basic training requirements. The certificate is valid for a period of three years. Employed officers are required to renew their certification by completing a Review Training every three years.
For more information on the requirements of becoming a police officer in CT and obtaining of the certification, you may visit the official website of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.