The Arizona Department of Public Safety was established in 1968 to provide the residents of Arizona with a centralized state police agency that enforced federal and state laws. Today, the DPS is segmented into the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) which conducts criminal investigations, tactical operations and special enforcement actions, as well as the Arizona Highway Patrol, which ensures the safety on Arizona’s highway system as well as providing support to local and state authorities in a variety of enforcement duties.
If you would like to learn how to become an Arizona State Trooper, you will need to complete the following process.
- Determine if you meet the basic qualifications
- Submit your application to the Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Successfully complete the written exam, board interview, physical fitness test and medical examination
- Complete the Academy and Field Training Programs
Step 1. Determine if You Meet the Basic Qualifications
In order to obtain a job with the Arizona State Police, you must possess the following minimum qualifications:
- You must be 21 years of age or older
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
- Possess U.S. citizenship
- Possess a valid Arizona driver’s license
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Criminology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Law Enforcement Associate's Degree and Post-Degree Certificates; Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degrees
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Online Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
- Saint Joseph's University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Any of the following conditions may disqualify you from entry into the DPS.
- Use of marijuana in the past three years or more than five times since the age of 21
- Heroin use
- Sale, manufacture or transportation of narcotics
- Theft while serving in a position of authority
- Felony conviction
- Conviction related to domestic violence
- Misrepresentation on a DPS application
- More than one DUI in the past five years
- A pattern of financial insolvency
Step 2. Submit your application to the Arizona Department of Public Safety
You may obtain an application from the Arizona Department of Public Safety or download one from their website. The completed application must be submitted along with supporting documents to the AZ DPS.
Step 3. Complete the Written Exam, Oral Interviews, Fitness Tests and
You will then be required to pass a general skills multiple choice test with a score of 75 or higher. A physical fitness test must also be successfully passed. The following conditions must be met to pass.
- Run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes or less
- Run 300 meters in 73.2 seconds or less
- Complete 24 push ups
- Complete 28 sit-ups in one minute or less
- Complete a short agility run within 21.8 seconds
If you pass these tests, you will be asked to interview with the Qualifications Appraisal Board who will assess your interpersonal and problem solving skills. If you receive the approval of the QAB, you will be subjected to a polygraph test and a thorough background investigation. A medical examination will then be administered along with a drug test and a psychological evaluation, which will include a written test and an interview with a psychologist.
Step 4. Complete the Arizona State Trooper Training Program
If you are selected for an Arizona State Trooper job, you will be required to attend the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy. The training program includes one week of pre-academy at DPS headquarters, an 18 week enrollment in the ALEA Basic curriculum as well as a 10 week enrollment in Advanced Academy training at DPS headquarters. The Basic training program includes courses on
- Law enforcement history
- Arizona governmental structure
- Criminal law
- Search and seizure
- Rules of evidence
- Civil process
- Juvenile law
- Constitutional law
- Patrol procedures
Following completion of the Basic and Advanced Academy Training, you will be required to complete the Field Training Program (FTO). This program may last between 10 and 14 weeks, with half of that period spent with one of two Field Training Instructors. If you already have certification as a law enforcement officer, your FTO period may be reduced by five weeks.