Becoming a Police Officer in Anchorage, Alaska

As the largest Police Department in the state of Alaska, the Anchorage Police Department handled over 12,600 crimes in 2010.  Here you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to become a police officer in Anchorage.

10 Steps to Become a Police Officer in Anchorage:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications and Submit Your Application
  2. Written and Ergometrics Examinations
  3. Physical Ability Test
  4. Interview
  5. Background Check
  6. Polygraph Examination
  7. Psychological Assessments
  8. Medical Examination
  9. Submission of Driver’s License and Driving Records
  10. Attend Police Academy for Training


Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Anchorage Police Officer Candidacy and Submit Your Application

There are certain requirements that you must meet to be considered for jobs as a police officer in Anchorage:

  • You must have a high school education:
    • GED
    • High school diploma
    • Equivalent
  • You must be at least 21 years by the time you apply.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license for Alaska by the time you are hired.
  • You must not have had any of the following convictions:
    • Felony
    • Misdemeanor:  moral turpitude or dishonesty
    • DWI:  two within the previous 10 years
  • You must not have done the following with drugs:
    • Marijuana:  used within the past year
    • Controlled substances:  illegally sold, manufactured, used, or transported within the past 10 years.

You can apply online to become a police officer in Anchorage.

Step 2. Written and Ergometrics Examinations

If you stand out as a candidate once your basic qualifications, employment record, and driving and criminal history record have been reviewed, you will be invited to take a written examination that is scored pass/fail.

You will be given the Nelson-Denny Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Test.  This is composed of two tests.  First is a fifteen-minute test of multiple choice questions about 80 vocabulary words.  Second is a twenty-minute test with 38 questions based on your having read five short segments of text.  These questions are answered multiple choice.  Once you have passed, your score is good for one year.

Next, you will take a video test that spends shows 54 vivid, realistic scenarios for 1.5 hours.  After you have seen the video, you will face multiple-choice questions on how you would respond to the scenarios.  You will also be expected to develop an incident observation report based on your viewing of a brief video related to police work.

Step 3. Physical Ability Test

After you have passed both the Ergometric and the Nelson-Denny testing, you will be able to take the physical ability test.  Before you can take the test, you must turn in a form that certifies you are physically fit.

The components of this physical test involve:

  • Jumping vertical (best of three trials)
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups (number done in 1 min)
  • Running a mile and a half
  • Running 300 meters

Step 4. Interview

Once you have successfully completed your physical ability test, you will be offered conditional employment.  You will then have a preliminary interview to discuss your background and assess your interview skills to see if you meet the standards to become a police officer in Anchorage.

Step 5. Background Check

After your interview, the department will critically examine your personal and past work history.  Your records in the following areas will be checked:

  • Civil history
  • Credit history
  • Criminal history
  • Driving history
  • Employment history
  • Military history

The department will also interview your:

  • Co-workers
  • Employers
  • Neighbors
  • References
  • Spouses or significant others

Step 6. Polygraph Examination

Once the department is satisfied that you have the appropriate background to be a police officer in Anchorage, you will be given a polygraph examination.

Step 7. Psychological Assessments

After you have passed your polygraph examination, you will undergo two processes to ensure that you have the appropriate mental state to become a police officer in Anchorage.  First, you will take a 4-8 hour written exam.  Then, at a later date, you will be interviewed by a psychologist licensed in the State of Alaska.

Step 8. Medical Examination

Once you have passed your psychological assessments, the Police Chief will consider your application.  Once you have been selected to become an Anchorage Police officer, the Municipal Employment Office will offer you conditional employment.

You must now be examined by a physician to ensure that you are sound physically and free of medical issues that could adversely affect your performance.  Part of this exam involves being screened for drugs.

Step 9. Submission of Driver’s License and Driving Records

After you have been cleared by a physician and found to be free of drugs, you have to submit a copy of your driver’s license for Alaska and your driving records.  If you received your license within a year of your application, you will need to provide your driving records from your previous state(s) of residence.

Step 10. Attend Police Academy for Training

Once you have provided a safe record of driving, you will be undergo 24 weeks of training at the Anchorage Police Department Academy for 11 hours a day from Mondays through Thursdays.  You will not be housed at the Academy.  Your training will involve thorough coursework, defensive training, and physical fitness training.  You will be trained in Defensive Tactics for over 100 hours, including:

  • Baton training
  • Ground fighting skills
  • Handcuffing
  • OC spray

You will also be trained in the use of firearms, including a Remington 870 shotgun and a Glock pistol, for over 100 hours.

Coursework will include such topics as:

    • Domestic violence
    • DUI
    • Emergency vehicle operations
    • Law
      • Municipal
      • State

  • Officer survival training

Your physical training will involve:

    • Running
      • 300 meters
      • One and a half miles

  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups

You will be paid $22.91 an hour while you are training at the Academy.  Once you have graduated from the Academy, you will train in the field for 19 weeks.  Your salary as a full-time police officer in Anchorage will range from $56,576 to $80,496 a year.

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