Becoming a Police Officer in Tampa, Florida

With more than 1,000 sworn officers, the Tampa Police Department is one of the largest in the state of Florida. The Tampa Police Department assigns officers to one of four districts throughout the city. Additionally, there is a special staff of officers that support all districts.

Becoming a police officer in Tampa requires completing a series of steps. Review these steps when considering how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Tampa:

  • Step 1: Review qualifications
  • Step 2: Complete application
  • Step 3: Pass physical capabilities test
  • Step 4: Background investigation
  • Step 5: Interview
  • Step 6: Pass psychological, medical and drug screen examinations
  • Step 7: Enroll in training academy

Step 1. Review Qualifications

The first step is to review the basic qualifications and requirements for police jobs in Tampa. The requirements are as follows:

  • Must posses an Associate’s Degree or an equivalent two-year degree from an accredited school
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be in good physical condition
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must be available to work at any given moment
  • Must not have any felony convictions
  • Must not have any misdemeanors that are violent or aggressive in nature, or reflect poorly on your moral character


Step 2. Complete Application

If you meet the basic requirements and qualifications, the next step is to complete the City of Tampa basic application. The application will cover your work experience, special skills and qualifications and various other background information. If the Tampa, Florida Police Department feels you are a good candidate, you will be invited to continue on in the process.

Step 3. Pass Physical Capabilities Test

The physical capabilities test is a state-approved obstacle course, which measures your speed, agility, strength and stamina. The test is timed and includes running, jumping, lifting and other strenuous physical activities that the job requires.

Step 4. Background Investigation

After completing and passing the physical abilities test a background investigation will be conducted. The investigation will include verification of the information you included in your original job application, including work history, criminal history and credit history. A polygraph test will also be issued at this point to verify the information collected in the background check.

Step 5. Interview

If you meet all of the requirements thus far, you will be interviewed by representatives from the Tampa Police Department. The interview will go over your qualifications, skills and all the information that was collected during the process up to this point.

Step 6. Pass Psychological, Medical and Drug Screen Examinations

When the interview process is completed, you will be contacted by the Tampa Police Department and will receive a conditional job offer. The conditions of the job offer include successfully passing a psychological and medical exam, and a drug screen.

Step 7: Enroll in the Training Academy

The training academy will focus on teaching you the basics of police officer duties. The classes include first aid, firearm handling, arrest and traffic stop procedures and a variety of other skills needed on the job. Upon graduating from the academy, you will be enrolled in field training and then hired on as a full-time office for the Tampa, Florida Police Department.

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