How to Become a City Police Officer in Kentucky

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The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is the police force responsible for maintaining law and order throughout the Bluegrass State. It functions under the umbrella of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The hardworking men and women of the KSP are always on their toes to keep their towns and neighborhoods safe from all types of criminal activities.
Known commonly as State Troopers, the KSP personnel are active 24/7 to ensure that the residents of Kentucky can sleep soundly at night and enjoy a safe environment during the day. If you also want to be a part of this efficient force, go through all the information in this piece to understand how to get started.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Kentucky

Following are the basic requirements for joining the Kentucky State Police:

  • Must be at least 21 or older at the time of applying
  • Must have at least an HSD (High School Diploma). If not, then the alternative GED (General Educational Development) is acceptable too
  • Must be a legal American national (through birth or naturalization)
  • Must have a valid Kentucky driving license
  • Must not have any felony convictions in any part of the country
  • Must have a valid permit to carry firearms
  • Previous record of military service (with honorable discharge) is desirable
  • Must pass the initial written exam
  • Must qualify the physical ability assessment
  • Must clear the medical and drugs test
  • Must sit for and pass the polygraph exam as well as the suitability screener
  • Must clear all background scrutiny. This includes submitting your fingerprints for a thorough criminal record check
Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Courage, Confidence & Negotiation Skills, Teamwork, Quick Response, Community Knowhow, Decision-Making Skills, Communication Skills, Writing Skills, Physical Fitness & Endurance, Ethics & Integrity, Conflict Resolution Skills.
Annual Mean Salary – Kentucky, KY (2021) $46,910 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Kentucky, KY (2018-2028) 7% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

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

What is the age requirement to be a police officer in the city of Kentucky?

The age requirement to become a police officer in Kentucky is 21 years. On top of that, you will also have to meet other requirements like have a clean criminal record, should have a high school degree, clear a background check, pass physical and medical examinations, etc to join the police officers.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Kentucky?

This will depend upon a few things, chief among them being the availability of vacancies with the Kentucky State Police or any other local law enforcement department in the state. When you apply against any open police officer positions, you will have to go through the KSP’s candidate screening and selection stage. This is likely to take 3 to 6 months on average.
You will then have to enroll at the Kentucky State Police Training Academy if selected. Over here, you are likely to train for about 6 to 8 months. So, in total, the complete process of becoming a Kentucky police officer will take around 1.5 years.

How Much Does a Police Officer Make in Kentucky?

O*Net Online forecasts a 7% increase in employment opportunities for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Kentucky, KY between 2018 and 2028. It matches the corresponding national average for this occupation, which is also 7%. $46,910 was the mean annual salary of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Kentucky, KY 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)

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)

Career Outlook for a Police Officer in Kentucky

Going by the information made available by O*NET Online, jobs for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Kentucky are set to grow by 7% during the 10 years from 2016 to 2026. This is the same as the countrywide growth rate.

Police Officer Training in Kentucky

To join the police force in the state of Kentucky, aspiring candidates have to fulfill certain criteria, like getting the right education, meeting age requirements, and clearing a strict hiring process.

The educational requirement is a high school diploma. Although this is the minimum education qualification needed to join the police force, it is always better to get an advanced degree like an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in the field of criminal justice or a field related to law enforcement.

Training Institutions for Police Officers in Kentucky

The state of Kentucky has plenty of training institutes for new recruits. In order to get employed as a police officer in Kentucky, it is imperative that you get the right training. Following are some excellent police training institutes in Kentucky.

  1. Citizen Police Academy

Situated in Bowling Green, the Citizen Police Academy is also known as the Bowling Green Police Department Citizen Police Academy. You need to be at least eighteen years old and have no previous felonies on your record to join the academy. Most classes take place at the facility’s Police Department Community Room, but recruits will also have to go to some offsite locations. The training is conducted by a professional criminal justice trainer or a police officer from the Bowling Green Police Department.

  1. Lexington Police Training Academy

Situated in Lexington, the Lexington Police Training Academy holds the distinction of being the state’s longest police training academy. To get into the academy, you have to apply online. You need to be between 21 to 40 years old and have US citizenship. On top of that, you should also have a clean criminal record, have a high school diploma, and a driver’s license that hasn’t expired, etc.

  1. Southern Police Institute

The Southern Police Institute has been providing excellent training to aspiring officers since the year 1951. The academy is part of University of Louisville’s Criminal Justice Department. The institute offers different options like, a two-week course, one-week course, and 2-4 day courses.