How to Become a Cop in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana has recently been pushing some long-due criminal justice reforms. In 2017, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) reforms were passed with a huge majority. People in Louisiana are mostly in support of alternatives to incarceration, such as drug treatment or rehab programs. As the state continues to work towards creating a system that is fair and more flexible, the jobs of the law enforcement officers becomes even more important. These officials are on the frontline, dealing with inmates, convicted felons and those awaiting their bail. If you want to contribute towards making Louisiana a safer place, you can play your part by becoming a police officer in Louisiana.
The following guide will help you understand the process to become a police officer in Louisiana, the requirements, duration and career info.

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Steps to Become a Police Officer in Louisiana
How to Become a Police Officer in Louisiana

Police Officer Career Requirements Louisiana

Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Observational Skills, Conflict Resolution, Problem-Solving, Empathy & Compassion, Good Communicator & Listener, Courage, Critical Thinking, Writing Skills
Annual Mean Salary – Louisiana, LA (2021) $44,790 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Louisiana, LA (2018-2028) 5% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

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

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Louisiana

The Louisiana State Police operates with the motto, “Courtesy, Loyalty, Service.” Providing public safety all across the state, the requirements to become a police officer in Louisiana vary from other states, especially with regards to educational requirements. For anyone looking to be a police officer in Louisiana, LA, the following steps are the basic requirements.

  1. Education Requirements & Background Check
  • To become a police officer in Louisiana, applicants must complete a minimum of sixty semester hours from an accredited college or university. During the application process, it is mandatory to provide degree or transcript.
  • Some of the basic requirements include having Louisiana Driver’s License.
  • Applicants must pass physical fitness test as well as physical examination.
  • For the application to be processed, applicants must have a clean record which includes no felony, no prior charges or drug abuse, and domestic violence.
  1. Clear Cadet Assessment Test
  • The Louisiana State Police has a rigorous selection process for shortlisting Louisiana State Police Cadet Position.
  • The test is a way of gauging a cadet’s mental strength, weaknesses, and trainability.
  • It is mandatory to obtain a passing score in all areas that include comprehending oral information, visual memory, math skills, grammar skills, and situational judgment.
  1. Graduate from Police Training Academy
  • Cadets at the Louisiana Police Academy are required to complete 496 training hours that usually last around 16 weeks.
  • During the course, cadets go through criminal justice orientation, learn different policing techniques, get physical and firearms training, and train in specialized activities.
  • Cadets also learn about officer survival, investigations, patrolling, and report writing.
  1. Obtaining Police License & Finding Job
  • To be able to work as a police officer in Louisiana, obtain a license from the Louisiana Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).
  • After getting a license, new recruits can easily apply for job as a police officer.

How long does it take to become a police officer in Louisiana?

It may take you up to 2 years to become a police officer in Louisiana. This time investment would vary according to individual department’s requirements and according to the job you are applying for. You may apply to become a Louisiana Trooper or a Highway Patrol Officer in Louisiana. You can also become a Sheriff Deputy in Louisiana. Police departments you can work for in the state include the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD), among several others.

Career Outlook for Police Officers in Louisiana

According to O*Net Online, the state of Louisiana has projected 5% growth for aspiring police officers between 2018-2028. The 2021 reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have recorded the annual mean wage of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Louisiana to be $44,790. Among the top five states with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, Louisiana ranks second. Below are the states with the highest location quotients:

State Location quotient 
District of Columbia 1.74
Louisiana 1.47
Mississippi 1.42
Alabama 1.36
New Mexico 1.33

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

The top paying states for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers are:

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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