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Law Enforcement Careers in Kentucky

In Kentucky, police training is provided to qualified applicants who wish to work in law enforcement careers at the state, county, and city levels. A clean record in the areas of finance, driving, and criminal history are basic requirements for law enforcement jobs in Kentucky.

Jobs with the Kentucky State Police

The Kentucky State Police are divided into a commercial vehicle enforcement, operations, and technical services division. Included in these divisions are special enforcement troops and forensic units. The KSP patrols the state’s highways and interstates enforcing traffic laws and providing assistance to citizens as well as other law enforcement agencies. In a recent take-back initiative, the KSP collected 644 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs throughout 16 posts in Kentucky from local citizens.

Prospective KSP sworn officer troopers must be in good shape physically and mentally, with a basic education including 60 college credits or an associate’s degree from an accredited university or college. An alternative to this education requirement may be substituted by a high school diploma with either two years of active military service or two years of experience as a law enforcement officer.

Jobs with County Sheriff’s Departments in Kentucky

County sheriff’s departments recruit quality applicants with a basic education including a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.

Jefferson County: Jefferson County’s sheriff’s department merged with the Louisville Police Department in 2003. Since then the sheriff’s department has been responsible for prosecution assistance, court services, the serving of official papers, and outreach in local schools. Prerequisites for employment include passing a polygraph, drug, and psychological evaluation.

Fayette County: In 1973 the county patrol merged with the Lexington Police Department. Today the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for court services and tax collection. The department has a renowned inmate labor program which has to-date removed over 4000 graffiti images and cleaned up more than 20 local public parks. Potential candidates for employment must possess and have knowledge of the Peace Officer Professional Standards.

Warren County: The stated goal of the sheriff’s department is for everyone’s neighborhood to be safe to allow people the freedom to thrive. Recently deputies responded to assist in cleaning up after a category F2 tornado ripped through the local area causing power outages and traffic accidents. Applicants for the job of deputy sheriff must have a witness sign to verify their application and pass a successful background investigation.

Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies: Police Jobs in Kentucky

A general education including a high school diploma or GED and clean background are required when applying to all police forces within Kentucky.

 

Louisville PD: The Louisville PD major crimes unit investigates homicides, financial crimes, robberies, and crimes against children. They have a forensics unit with special training in evidence collection from crime scenes with an additional video and photo squad. Applicants seeking jobs with the Louisville PD must provide an official college transcript of 60 semester hours if using these to qualify for a position.

Lexington PD: Good news came to the Lexington PD when it was announced in 2012 that the law enforcement agency was eligible to receive the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice for the amount of $252,727. Successful applicants will have not worked as security guards who are in labor disputes within the past two years from the date of the application.

Owensboro PD: The Owensboro PD has 107 sworn officers who in 2011 investigated 1,310 drug abuse violations and 828 cases of basic assault. In the same year officers in the traffic unit issued 1,608 citations. Those seeking employment as police officers must have either an associate’s degree in a career-related field, two years of active military service, three years of previous law enforcement experience, or some combination of these.

Bowling Green PD: This police department works closely with the local community, including programs in its budget such as a citizens and junior police academies, neighborhood watch and teen driver safety resources. Job applicants are preferred to have either 60 college credits, four years of active or reserve military service, or have previous experience as a certified law enforcement officer.

Covington PD: The Covington PD can be said to have been a progressive police department ever since 1898 when the city commission bought two bicycles approved for use by officers on patrol. Candidates for employment must have either 30 credits of college credit, two years of active and consecutive military service, or two years of previous employment as a law enforcement officer.

Kentucky Law Enforcement Salaries

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports these median salaries among law enforcement professionals in Kentucky during 2010:

  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $51,600
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $58,170
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $39,970

Salaries among Detectives and Criminal Investigators throughout Kentucky

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
510
71340
Clarksville TN-KY
30
54160
Evansville IN-KY
80
60460
Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH
40
53640
Lexington-Fayette KY
80
77300
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
200
70580
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
40
56990
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
70
54310
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
60
49640

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Kentucky

In order to get a firm idea of the average police officer and sheriff salary in Kentucky, let’s look at the 3 largest cities in the state: Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green.

Louisville Police Department

  • Police Recruit (during academy training): $31,012.80
  • Police Officer (upon academy graduation): $35,131.20

Additional benefits include a $3,100 state incentive, $1,500 clothing allowance, and $900 equipment allowance.

Lexington Police Department

  • Entry-Level Recruit (Contract step 0-1): $37,731.35 (includes State incentive and uniform allowance)
  • Contract step 2 (at hiring date anniversary): $40,021.02 (includes State incentive and uniform allowance)

Additional benefits include a college incentive credit of $1,500 for police officers with a bachelor’s degree.

Bowling Green Police Department

  • Police Officer (during basic training): $36,179
  • Police Officer (after graduation): $39,279

Salaries among Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers throughout Kentucky

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bowling Green KY
240
41110
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
3590
53810
Clarksville TN-KY
410
39730
Elizabethtown KY
250
44450
Evansville IN-KY
430
42880
Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH
410
37260
Lexington-Fayette KY
970
37550
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
2050
46310
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
36620
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
680
33820
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
960
37490
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
430
33990

State Trooper Salary in Kentucky

The state trooper salary in Kentucky starts at $34,441.92 for Cadet Troopers during training at the academy. After graduation, state troopers receive an annual salary of $37,382.40. One of the greatest benefits of being a state trooper in Kentucky is that you will receive annual increases, as determined by legislative approval, but there is no top-out salary amount. Here are some of the other benefits offered by the Kentucky State Police:

  • A 10% salary increase with each promotion
  • Uniform allowance: $1,825
  • Annual training stipend: $3,100

 Salaries among Police Supervisors and Detectives throughout Kentucky

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
510
75860
Clarksville TN-KY
60
53800
Elizabethtown KY
Estimate Not Released
69030
Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH
50
53150
Lexington-Fayette KY
210
59050
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
370
67730
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
40
53380
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
90
51990
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
190
59280
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
80
46500

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