How to become a Police officer in Rhode Island?

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There are over 1,800 police officers and sheriffs in Rhode Island. To become a police officer in the state, you have to comply with certain general and specific guidelines. The general requirements apply to every citizen in every state of America. Any additional guidelines are state specific ones. The following guide will provide the necessary steps to becoming a certified police officer in Rhode Island. The process in Rhode Island is a little more difficult than that in other states. The following guide however should make your job easier as it includes all necessary steps needed to become a police officer in Rhode Island.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Rhode Island Islands
How to Become a Police Officer in Northern Rhode Island

General Requirements to become a Police Officer in Rhode Island

All applicants must meet the following conditions to apply to be a police officer:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be 18 to 35 years old
  • Must have a high school education or a GED
  • An applicant cannot have any prior convictions
  • Applicant must have a valid driver’s license
  • Applicants must be willing to have their personal backgrounds investigated

Additional Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Rhode Island

These requirements are specific to Rhode Island and will not necessarily apply to police academies in other states. The requirements are as follows.

  • Candidates cannot have racist, sexist or offensive tattoos on their bodies
  • Tattoos that are visible through the police uniform i.e. located on your neck, face, hands or fingers are not permitted

How do police officers get recruited in Rhode Island?

Understandably, there are multiple steps for the recruitment of a police officer. As protectors of the constitution and the citizens of Rhode Island, aspiring officers have to go through a rigorous process. All candidates must:

  • Pass a physical agility test
  • Pass a written exam
  • Pass an oral board interview
  • Clear a background investigation by law enforcement agencies
  • Pass a medical exam
  • Pass a psychological exam
  • Complete a Capitol Police training academy

Police departments in Rhode Island

There are two police departments in Rhode Island.

  • The Providence Police Department
  • The Warwick Police Department

The former department consists of three separate branches, i.e. the uniform division, the investigative division and the administrative division. The Warwick department also includes special units like homeland security.

Police training departments in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has two training academies. To be a certified Police officer, all candidates must pass through one of these training departments. One of them is RIMPTA (Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy) and the second one is the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy in North Scituate.

Facts and Statistics

The following table provides a brief overview of the statistical data available on Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Rhode Island.

Employment per 1000 3.83
Total Employment 1,850
Annual Mean Wage $60,890
Hourly Mean Wage $29.27

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018

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

In general, it takes up to two years to become a police officer in the United States, including in Rhode Island. The exact time frame might vary according to individual jurisdictions.

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