Police officers in Indiana are trained professionals who uphold law, maintain order, and help people in need. These professionals arrest criminals, and patrol the streets to make sure the society is a safe place to live.
Police officers carry out a large variety of tasks in the carrying out of their job. Furthermore, this occupation is often difficult, demanding, and sometimes very dangerous. The training process can also be quite challenging.

Featured Programs and Schools

Career Requirements

Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Verbal and Written Communication Skills, Fast Thinking, Adaptability/Decisiveness, Physical Fitness, Strong Moral Character, Courage, Sound Judgement, Community Knowledge, Honesty and Good Judgment, Perseverance and Initiative, and Logical Reasoning Skills
Annual Mean Salary – Indiana, IN (2021) $61,850 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Indiana, IN (2018-2028) 6% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

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

Becoming a Cop in Indiana

Becoming a police officer in Indiana requires education, skill, and training. As the career can be challenging, police officers must be physically fit. Apart from physical attributes, possessing a sound character and strong personality traits could also help. Before you go on to apply, make sure you are determined and understand what the career demands.

According to O*NET OnLine, police officers in the state of Indiana earned a median annual income of $47,710 in 2015. The job growth in this sector (from 2014 to 2024) is expected to be at 6%, which is 1% more than the job growth expected in this field nationally.

Job Title 2015 Median Wages Projected Job Growth (2014-2014)
Police Officer $47,710 6%
Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Indiana
How to Become a Police Officer in Indiana

Job Responsibilities of a Police Officer

Police officers or troopers in Indiana, IN start their career with road patrol duties. While working with the Indiana State Police, troopers are required to work independently in most situations and receive general instructions before their shift starts. It is the job of Indiana State Police to ensure public safety within the community and inspire a culture of integrity. A police officer’s main responsibilities include investigating crimes, resolving disputes, and performing administrative duties. A candidate must be willing to be located, serve in, or be assigned to any district in the State of Indiana.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Indiana

The police departments of major cities in Indiana have established a set of initial requirements that all applicants must meet. These requirements typically include:

  • Applicants must have a US citizenship
  • Applicants must be over the age of 21 and not more than 36 at the time of appointment
  • Applicants must have a clean criminal record
  • Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or GED
  • Applicants should have a valid driver’s license
  • Applicants who were in the military should not have been discharged dishonorably
Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Attend Training Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Assertiveness, Quick Thinker, Teamwork, Morality, Courage, Attention to detail, Negotiation skills.
Annual Mean Salary – Indiana, IN (2021) $ 61,850
Job Outlook – Indiana, IN (2018-2028) 6%

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

Steps to Become a Police Officer

  1. Preliminary Application

You can start by filing out an application on the official web page of the police department you are interested in joining. You can also receive an application through mail. Make sure you fill out the application correctly and mail it to the relevant address.

  1. Pass a Written Examination

The exam is designed to test an applicant’s skill in spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Police departments must ensure that all applicants display a certain level of general knowledge and are familiar with law enforcement principles.

  1. Pass an Oral Interview

This phase of the screening process is designed to test a candidate’s oral communication skills. Communication is an important part of the job.

  1. Pass a Physical Agility Test

The physical agility test will require applicants toperform a series of physical activities and tasks such as emergency runs. The test will evaluate the level of physical stress and exertion an applicant can endure. Here are some of the activities one can expect in the test:

  • 1.5 mile run
  • Push ups
  • Sit ups
  • Bench press
  • Sit and reach test

Alongside the above mentioned physical activities, applicants will also be tested for the following:

  • Blood pressure
  • Body fat
  • Flexibility
  1. Pass a Polygraph Examination

Polygraph tests are used by many police departments and law enforcement agencies. It is also known as a lie detector test and can help screen out undesirable applicants. The test will detect:

  • Changes in breathing
  • Sweat gland activity
  • Cardiovascular activity
  • Motion and nervous fidgeting

To pass the test, applicants must answer the questions honestly.

  1. Background Investigation

Applicants must pass a background check. Investigators will thoroughly examine an applicant’s past financial history, employment, etc.

  1. Pass a Medical Examination

The medical examination will screen out applicants suffering from medical conditions.

  1. Pass a Psychological Examination

This exam is geared towards identifying certain psychological traits in candidates. Only applicants with a sound psychological statusmay be selected.

  1. Pass a Drug Screening Test

Drug screening is an important part of the selection process. The test will screen applicants for drug use and toxicity.

  1. Board Approval

The board or human resource personnel of the police department will thoroughly review all candidate files before approving them for training.

Join a Training Academy

After applicants meet all the requirements, they will be required to enroll in a police academy for training.The curriculum will include subjects such as the following:

  • Criminal justice
  • Law
  • Human behavior
  • Administration
  • Investigations
  • Use of force
  • Physical conditioning
  • Patrol procedures
  • Traffic services

During the training, trainees will learn how to use fire-arms, apply defensive tactics, and investigation techniques. The training program can last anywhere from 5-8 months, depending upon the police department.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer?
It can take 8-12 months for becoming a police officer in Indiana. The exact duration will vary from city to city, and will also depend upon the requirements and application process.

Work Environment

Police officers typically work at the state and locallevels in the state. The occupation can be physically demanding where officers may face dangerous situations.

What Police Officers Do

  • Enforce laws in the community
  • Arrest suspects and criminals
  • Respond to emergency calls
  • Patrol areas
  • Issue citations
  • Write reports and testify in courts

Employment Outlook

O*Net Online forecasts a 6% increase in employment opportunities for Police Officers in Indiana, IN between 2018 and 2028. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 7% between 2018 and 2030. In Indiana, the annual mean salary of police officers is $ 61,850 as per BLS 2021 report. 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)

Similarly, states with the highest employment level in police and sheriff’s patrol officers are also as follows:


State Employment 
California 70,050
Texas 60,440
New York 49,910
Florida 45,360
Illinois 30,640

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

Duration to Become a Police Officer in Indiana

To become a police officer in Indiana, IN, candidates are required to complete at least an associate’s degree in criminal justice and law. Since the state offers many opportunities to law officers, it’s preferred to obtain bachelor’s degree for career growth. Candidates are required to enroll in the Indiana Police Academy and complete 932 hours of training that are spread over a 24-week period. Combining initial education, training academy, screening process, interview, and hiring, it takes from two to five years to become a police officer.

Police Education and Training

Anyone who is interested in police work can explore different educational opportunities available in Indiana, IN. Criminal Justice and Law degree covers a variety of topics, offering courses in criminal investigation, criminal justice management, psychological approaches to understanding crime, and forensics. Even though the minimum requirement to become a police officer in Indiana as well as other states is high school diploma, but most students prefer obtaining specialized degree. To pursue career as police officer, students can choose from various degree programs that include associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and certification programs.

Police Officer Training in Indiana

Indiana Law Enforcement Academy puts candidates through 600 hours of training during which they take different courses on human psychology, criminal and traffic law, emergency vehicle operations, firearms, physical tactics, and EMS awareness. Candidates also learn about other police related topics, such as domestic violence, accident and criminal investigation, sexual assault, crime prevention, and water rescue training. All courses are designed in a way to provide candidates practical experience, creating situations where they are required to apply their learning and react accordingly.

Training Institutions for Police Officers

Indiana has maintained set standards for police officers training in the state. All of these training institutions prepare law enforcement candidates for service through innovative and practically guided programs. Below are some of the best academies in the state of Indiana that provide basic training to police officers.

  1. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy

Located in Plainfield, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy is governed by Law Enforcement Training Board, comprising of 17 members. The academy provides Basic Training – Tier I, Basic Training – Tier II, and Basic Training – Tier III programs. In addition to mandatory training, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy also offers Inservice Training, an advanced course that covers areas like active shooter, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, breath tests for intoxication, physical tactics, crime scene investigation course, death investigations, domestic violence, sexual assault, and leadership courses.

  1. Brownsburg Police Training Facility

Located in Brownsburg in Indiana, Brownsburg Police Training Facility includes certified and instructors who provide the best training to new recruits. The training unit offers opportunities for candidates to seek training outside the department, throughout the state of Indiana and other parts of the country. Some of the areas of instruction include emergency vehicle operations, firearms, ethics, physical tactics, response to active shooter, S.T.O.P.S., and victim’s assistance.

  1. Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (NILEA)

Located in Hobart, IN, NILEA offers in-service training programs, along with two 15 weeks basic recruit academy classes that take place annually. Although candidates cannot directly sign themselves up for the Basic Recruit Academy, it accepts sponsorships from members of the police agencies.

  1. Public Agency Training Council

The training center is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It offers the best and comprehensive training to the candidates in areas like hostage negotiation and crisis intervention, community policing, and criminal investigation. Candidates can easily register themselves for open training.

You May Also Like

How to Become a Police Officer in Indianapolis
How to Become a Police Officer in Iowa
How to Become a Police Officer in Jacksonville FL