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How to Become a Police Officer in Arizona

Becoming a Police Officer in Chandler, Arizona

The crime rate in Chandler dropped 20% in the year 2012—a laudable statistic for the Chandler Police Department.  Review this step-by-step guide on how to become a police officer in Chandler if you’ve got what it takes to meet the department’s stringent requirements:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Fitness Test
  5. Interviews
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Psychological Examination
  8. Interview with Chief of Police
  9. Medical Examination
  10. Attend Police Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Chandler Police Officer Candidacy

There are certain requirements that you must meet to be considered for jobs as police officers in Chandler:

  • You must not be colorblind.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have graduated from high school or have a GED certificate.
  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You must have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces
  • You must not have certified status that has been revoked, denied, or is currently suspended.
  • You must not have done any of these illegal things with marijuana:
    • Produced, sold, cultivated, or transported it for sale
    • Used for anything besides experimentation
      • Over five times since you turned 21
      • 20 times in your life
    • Used within the previous three years
  • For other illegal drugs, you must not have
    • Produced, sold, cultivated, or transported it for sale
    • Used except for experimentation
    • Used while appointed or employed as a police officer

Step 2. Submit Your Application

Your application must be submitted on-line through the Chandler Human Resources site.

Step 3. Written Examination

You will need to bring photographic identification to the exam to be able to take it.  Do not bring unnecessary items like purses, briefcases, or backpacks in with you.  If you are a veteran, you will need to bring a copy of your DD-214 to receive your veteran’s points.  You must pass all three portions of the exam.  These involve:

  • Grammar
  • Report writing
  • Video

Step 4. Physical Fitness Test

After you have successfully completed your written examination and your preliminary backgrounds screen, you will be given a test of your physical agility to evaluate your overall physical condition.  This will involve:

  • Doing 31 sit-ups within a minute
  • Doing 31 push-ups (no limit on time)
  • Running 1.5 miles in 14:29

Step 5. Interviews

Once you have passed all the steps of your physical fitness test, you will undergo a series of interviews.  You will have to pass each of them to proceed with the next.  First, you will be interviewed by a panel of department members.  Once you have passed that, you will be interviewed about your background.  After that, you will be interviewed by a member of the Command.

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

After you have passed all your interviews, your background will be investigated by the department.  You will be contacted by a background investigator.  This person will examine your:

  • Employment history
  • Financial history
  • References
  • Educational background
  • Driving history

Step 7. Psychological Examination

Once you have been cleared by your background investigator, you will be examined by a psychologist to determine whether your mental health is good enough to become a police officer in Chandler.

Step 8. Interview with Chief of Police

After your psychological exam has been successful, you will be interviewed by the Chief of Police.

Step 9. Medical Examination

Once the Chief of Police has ascertained that you are a good candidate to become a police officer in Chandler, you will be examined by a doctor.  Part of this exam will involve getting a tuberculosis test.

Step 10. Attend Police Academy for Training

After your medical exam has found your health to be good enough to become a law enforcement officer, you will be trained at a police academy in Arizona that has AZ POST certification.  This type of training involves:

  • Academic coursework in law and police procedures
  • Driving training
    • Pursuit
    • Operating emergency vehicles
    • Firearms training
    • Physical training

Once you have graduated from your academy, you will be trained in items specific to the Chandler Police Department, including:

  • Report writing
  • Use of firearms and searching buildings
  • Certification for using a TASER
  • Use of force

Your salary will start at $24.94.  It has the potential to increase up to $35.42 an hour.  If you are bilingual in Spanish, you can earn an additional 5% depending on how fluent you are in the language.

Becoming a Police Officer in Glendale, Arizona

The Glendale Police Department in Arizona has implemented a strategic approach to reducing crime.  The analysis available from 2010 revealed that the rate of violent crime in the city was reduced 16% that year. This was the fourth straight year the city saw declines in the rate of violent crimes.

If you’d like to fight crime in Arizona and contribute to the incarceration rate of violent criminals in Glendale, follow this step-by-step guide on how to become a cop in Glendale by meeting specific police officer requirements.

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Assessment Examination
  5. Interview and Written Essay
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Physical Assessment Update
  8. Executive Interview
  9. Psychological and Medical Examinations
  10. Attend Police Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Glendale Police Officer Candidacy

There are certain requirements that you must meet to be considered for jobs as police officers in Glendale:

  • You must be at least 20.5 years old by the day of your written exam.
  • You must be 21 years of age by the date that you graduate from the academy.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Your vision must be no worse than 20/200 and correctable to 20/20 if you wear soft contacts.
  • Your vision must be at least 20/80 and corrected to 20/20 if you wear hard contacts or glasses.
  • You must not have been involved in any activity that would be a felony in Arizona.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • You must have a Class D Arizona operator’s license by the time you are appointed.

Step 2. Submit Your Application

You must fill out both an application for employment from the City of Glendale and a preliminary applicant questionnaire to be considered as a police officer in Glendale.  The department prefers that you submit your application by e-mail.

Step 3. Written Examination

Non-lateral applicants who meet the qualifications will be notified by mail, e-mail, and/or phone that they are invited to take the written examination.  You will be given 3.25 hours to take the 168 question exam.  You will need a score of 70% to pass.  You can prepare for the exam with a study guide.

Step 4. Physical Assessment Examination

Once you have successfully passed the written examination, you will be invited to take the physical assessment exam.  This will involve three steps.  You will have to pass each of the following:

  • Run 1.5 miles in 14:59
  • At least 28 sit-ups in 1 min
  • At least 19 push-ups (not timed)

The department has a preparation guide that it recommends for the physical assessment.  If you are applying as a lateral officer, you are exempt from taking the initial physical exam.

Step 5. Interview and Written Essay

After you have passed your physical examination, you will be interviewed by an oral board.  This portion of the process will also involve writing an essay.

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

Once you have been found to be one of the most qualified applicants, you will be contacted by a background investigator from the department.  You will be scheduled for an interview about your background.  This will be the start of a background investigation that will proceed throughout your entire hiring process.  You will also be given a lie detector test by a trained professional to confirm the information that you provided in your background packet.

Step 7. Physical Assessment Update

At this point, you will be tested again on your physical ability.  You will be given the same test as before, but you will be expected to score better on it.

Step 8. Executive Interview

Once you have passed your second physical fitness test, you will be interviewed by a member of the Command Staff of the Glendale Police Department.

Step 9. Psychological and Medical Examinations

After you have been chosen from your interview, you will undergo a psychological evaluation to make sure that you are in good enough mental health to become a police officer in Glendale.  You will be also be examined by a physician certified by AZPOST to ensure that you do not have any health issues that could prevent you from becoming a law enforcement officer.

Step 10. Attend Police Academy for Training

Once you have successfully completed the whole process of employment, you will receive an offer of employment from the Chief of Police.  Then, you will receive over 650 hours of training at a law enforcement training academy that is certified by AZPOST.  You will receive training in police procedures and criminal and traffic law.  You will receive practical training in driving and using firearms.  You should also expect rigorous physical training, and your chances of success will be greater if you prepare ahead of time to be in shape for the academy

Your salary while you are in the academy will be $23.57 an hour.  Once you have graduated, it will start at $25.24 an hour.

Becoming a Police Officer in Mesa, Arizona

The Mesa Police Department handled nearly 16,000 crimes in 2012, making it one of the busiest and most effective law enforcement agencies in the Southwest.

If you’d like to become a cop in Mesa, follow this guide for detailed in instructions and information on how to satisfy the department’s stringent police officer requirements:

9 Steps to Become a Police Officer in Mesa:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Fitness Test
  5. Interview
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Second Physical Fitness Test
  8. Medical and Psychological Examinations
  9. Attend Police Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Mesa Police Officer Candidacy

There are certain requirements that you must meet to be considered for jobs as police officers in Mesa:

  • Your must have excellent vision:
    • If 20/200, it must be correctable to 20/20 by wearing soft contacts.
    • If 20/80, it can be correctable by hard contacts or glasses.
  • You must not have convicted of any felonies or any offense that would be a felony in Arizona.
  • You must not have been indicted for a felony in any jurisdiction or state.
  • You must be at least 21 years old by the time you graduate from the Academy.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have been honorably discharged (if applicable).
  • You must have a Class D Arizona driver’s license by the time you are hired.
  • You must not have done any of the following with marijuana:
    • Illegally cultivated, produced, sold, or transported it for sale
    • Illegally have used it within the previous 3 years
    • Illegally used it other than to experiment with it, defined as:
      • Having used it 20 times or more than 5 times since you were 21
    • You must not have done any of the following with drugs other than marijuana:
      • Illegally cultivated, produced, sold, or transported it for sale
      • Illegally have used it within the past 7 years for any purpose
      • Illegally have used it for any reason besides experimentation
        • Use exceeding a total of five times
        • Used once since you were 21 years old
    • You must not have a pattern of prescription drug abuse.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • College coursework in criminal justice
  • Being bilingual in Spanish

Step 2. Submit Your Application

You must submit your application at the Mesa government website.

Step 3. Written Examination

After the department has found that you are qualified to become a police officer in Mesa, you will notified by e-mail and invited to take the written exam that will take about two hours.  You will have to score at least 70% on this multiple choice, 100 question exam to pass.

Step 4. Physical Fitness Test

You will be notified as soon as you have passed the written examination and scheduled for your physical fitness test.  This will usually be within a week of your written exam.  To pass this test, you will have to do each of the following:

  • At least 29 push-ups in 1 min
  • At least 31 sit-ups in 1 min
  • Run 1.5 miles in less than 15:20

You will have to pass each step to continue onto the next.

Step 5. Interview

Once you have passed all of the exercises in your physical fitness test, you will be scheduled for an interview.  Two officers will perform a structured interview on you, and each of your answers to their questions will be scored.

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

After you have passed your interview with a score of at least 70%, you will be placed on an eligibility list for one year after the date of your written exam.  You will also be scheduled for your background check.  This will involve an:

  • Interview
  • Check of your:
    • Criminal history
    • Credit history
    • Employers
    • Personal references
    • Polygraph examination

Step 7. Second Physical Fitness Test

Once you have passed your background check, your file will be reviewed by a Hiring Board composed of a Commander, Lieutenant, and Sergeant.  After you have been approved by this board, you will take another physical fitness test with more stringent standards.  This time, you will have to:

  • Do at least 21 push-ups in 1 min
  • Do at least 29 sit-ups in 1 min
  • Run 1.5 miles in less than 14:46

Step 8. Medical and Psychological Examinations

After you have passed your second physical fitness test, you will be screened by a physician and a psychologist to make sure that you are in both good physical and mental health.

Step 9. Attend Police Academy for Training

Once you have been cleared by the physician and psychologist, you will be trained for 20 weeks in basic training at the Mesa Police Academy.  This will involve academic training and physical drills including:

  • Push-ups
  • Sprinting 500 meters
  • Squats
  • Running a 2.5 mile course that has hills

After you graduate from the Academy, you will be trained in the field for 16 to 18 weeks.

Becoming a Police Officer in Scottsdale, Arizona

According to UCR statistics from the Scottsdale Police Department, the rate of both personal and property crimes committed in Scottsdale decreased by more than16% in 2012 alone. If you’ve got the dedication to help keep Scottsdale a safe place to live and work, follow this step-by-step guide on how to become a police officer in Scottsdale.

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Written Examination
  3. Physical Fitness Test
  4. Interview
  5. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  6. Psychological and Medical Examinations
  7. Attend Police Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Scottsdale Police Officer Candidacy

There are certain requirements that you must meet to be considered for police officer jobs with the Scottsdale Police Department:

  • You must be at least 20 years and 8 months old when you apply.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have a high school education:
    • Diploma
    • GED
  • You must not have been convicted of any of the following:
    • A crime that would be a felony in Arizona
    • Domestic violence
  • You must have an honorable discharge from the U.S.military (as applicable).
  • If you have been employed as a law enforcement officer, you must not have violated any laws relating to criminal activity during or after your tenure.
  • You cannot have done any of the following with marijuana:
    • Used it within the previous 3 years
    • Used it more than 20 times in your life
    • Used it more than 5 times since you have turned 21
  • You cannot have used illegal drugs (including non-prescription steroids since 1-1-94):
    • In the past 7 years
    • More than 5 times in your life
    • More than once since you have turned 21
  • You cannot have a pattern of abuse of prescription medication.
  • You cannot have tattoos:
    • That are sexual, obscene, racial, or that would discriminate on the basis of religion
    • On your neck, face, hands, or above your collarbone
    • On any exposed body part in excess of 1/3 of the body part
  • You cannot have visible holes in your earlobes from wearing ear gauges.
  • You cannot have body parts pierced if they are visible.
  • You must have good vision:
    • If you wear soft contacts, your uncorrected vision must be at least 20/200 and correctable to at least 20/20.
    • If you wear glasses or hard contacts, your uncorrected vision must be at least 20/80 and correctable to at least 20/20.
    • You must be able to distinguish basic color groups.
    • You must have good peripheral vision.
  • You must have good hearing.

Step 2. Written Examinations

Once you have been found to be one of the most highly qualified candidates, you will be invited to take a test to assess your skills.  This approximately six hour test has both a written and physical component.

The written portion of the test has several components.  The first is a Standardized Police Officer test.  You will be given an information packet to read in 25 minutes.  You will then be given a 100-question test to complete in 1 hr and 45 min.  You can purchase a study guide for the test you will be taking, which is the PO-EL 202-NC (TIP) examination.  This test will measure:

  • Following directions
  • Learning and applying police information
  • Remembering details
  • Using judgment and logic
  • Verbal abilities

The next part of the test involves spelling 25 basic words that would be involved in law enforcement.  This is not pass or fail; your results will be evaluated by a team.

The third part of the test will measure your ability to write reports.  You will be presented with a scenario to view or read about that you can take written notes on.  You will then have 30 minutes in which to write a report.  You will receive a letter grade from A to D, based on your ability to:

  • Communicate in writing
  • Document information clearly and concisely
  • Listen
  • Spell
  • Use grammar
  • Write neatly

Step 3 Physical Fitness Test

The physical portion of the test involves doing the following:

  • At least 25 push-ups within a minute
  • 29 sit-ups within a minute
  • Running 1.5 miles in less than 14:30 without walking or stopping

The department provides helpful tips for you to use in preparing to take the physical exam.

Step 4. Interview

After you have passed your initial testing, you will be invited to an interview by a panel of members of the department.

Step 5. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

Once you have passed your interview, you will be notified that you need to complete your background information packet.  You will have to return this within 7 to 10 days.

After your packet has been reviewed and you have been found to not have any disqualifiers, you will be scheduled for an interview about your background.  You will have to take a polygraph examination about the information you provided.  Items that you will be asked about include:

  • Criminal activity
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Drug use or trafficking
  • Falsifying any of the information that you provided
  • Honesty

Step 6. Psychological and Medical Examinations

Once you have passed your background check and been favorably reviewed by the department, you will receive a conditional offer to become a police officer in Scottsdale.  This offer is contingent on passed a psychological evaluation and a medical examination to determine that you are in excellent health both mentally and physically.  This process will involve a screen for drugs and alcohol in your system.

Step 7. Attend Police Academy for Training

After you have passed your psychological and medical evaluations, you will be given an offer of a job and trained for 2-3 weeks before you attend a police academy.  You will undergo training at one of three academies:  ALEA, MESA, or MCSO.  You will receive 700 to 800 hours of training over 18 to 20 weeks.  Your training will involve:

  • Lectures in the classroom
  • Training in physical fitness
  • Practical exercises such as
    • Driving
      • Pursuit
      • Operating emergency vehicles
    • Using weapons
      • Firearms
      • Batons

You will also receive a substantial amount of field training after the academy, including 4 weeks of post-academy training and then 13 weeks in the field.

Your salary will range from $23.98 to $37.01 per hour as a police officer in Scottsdale.

Becoming a Police Officer in Tucson, Arizona

As measured in 2011, the crime rate in Tucson had decreased substantially from 2004 going from a rate of 23,256 crimes per 100,000 people to a rate of 15,366 in 2011, due in large part to the efforts of the Tucson Police Department.

Follow the steps outlined below to learn how to become a police officer in Tucson:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Fitness Evaluation
  5. Interview
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Psychological Assessment
  8. Medical Examination
  9. Attend Police Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Tucson Police Officer Candidacy

Meet these requirements to be eligible for police officer jobs in Tucson:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be a at least 21 years old by the time you complete the basic academy.
  • You must have a diploma or GED certificate to show that you graduated from high school.
  • You cannot have any felony commissions or convictions or any offense that would be considered a felony in Arizona.
  • You must have been honorably discharged (if applicable).
  • You must not have had any DUIs within the past 3 years.
  • You must not have used marijuana:
    • Over twenty times in your life
    • Over five times after you have turned 21
    • Within the past three years
  • You must not have used any other type of illegal drug:
    • More than five times in your life
    • Within the past seven years
  • You must not have done any of the following during the past five years:
    • Been discharged for cause from Tucson
    • Been marked ineligible to be reemployed by Tucson
    • Made a false statement in your application of employment
    • Secured an advantage in the examination by bribery or political pressure
    • Obtained information about the examinations that you were not entitled to
    • Belonged to any organization that advocates or plans to overthrow or subvert the U.S. government

Step 2. Submit Your Application

In order for you to apply, there must be a job posted on the city’s website.  There are three steps in applying to become a police officer in Tucson:

  • Register with the city
  • Apply as a Police Officer Recruit at the same site
  • Download and fill-out the pre-screen questionnaire
    • Located under “Job Details” tab

You should get an e-mail confirming your submission within 48 hours of turning in your questionnaire.  If you do not get that e-mail, you will have to re-submit it.

Step 3. Written Examination

The next step after submitting your application is to take a written examination.  This test of general knowledge measures your abilities, intelligence, and skills that you need prior to being trained as a police officer.  You will be tested on your:

  • Grammar
  • Memorization
  • Reading comprehension

If you are claiming veteran’s preference or inclusion credit (Native American or ADA), you must bring your DD-214 or other supporting documents to this test.  You will not get credit if you submit them at a later date.

You will receive your test results on the same day that you have taken the test.

Step 4. Physical Fitness Evaluation

Once you have passed the written test, you will be scheduled for a test of your physical fitness.  The department recommends that you start training six weeks ahead of time to get in shape and provides a fitness preparation guide for this test.

You should wear appropriate workout clothes and make sure that you have enough water to stay hydrated.  The department will try to give you the test during a part of the day that is cooler, but you should be prepared for hot weather.

You will be evaluated on your ability to do the following tasks:

  • Run 1.5 miles
  • Perform as many sit-ups as you can during 1 min
  • Perform as many push-ups as you can during 1 min
  • Run 300 meters
  • Leap vertically

Your score will be corrected based on your age and gender, and the standard will be 40% of the Cooper Institute Standards.

Step 5. Interview

After you have met the Cooper Fitness Standards for your physical test, you will be interviewed by members of the Tucson Police Department for about an hour.  You must bring a notarized copy of your completed applicant questionnaire, as well as the following documents:

  • Proof of having a high school degree (diploma, GED certificate, or transcripts)
  • Proof of being a citizen:
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. naturalization papers
    • Birth certificate
  • DD-214 with re-enlistment code (if applicable)
  • Proof of Selective Service registration (for males between 18-26)
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Arizona residents must have a certified copy of your driving history issued within the past 30 days
  • Marriage/Divorce decrees, licenses, and certificates
  • Proof that you have automobile insurance for every vehicle you own
  • Bankruptcy documents
  • Certificates for previous law enforcement (if applicable)
  • College degree(s) and/or transcripts (copies do not have to be certified)

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

Once you have passed your interview, the department will conduct a background investigation on you.  The department can contact everybody that you listed on your questionnaire.  You may also be given a polygraph test and fingerprinted at this point.

Step 7. Psychological Assessment

After you have passed your background check, you will undergo a thorough psychological evaluation to determine that you are in excellent mental health.

Step 8. Medical Examination

Once you have been found to be in excellent mental health, you will be examined by a physician to show that you are in excellent physical health and meet the standards of Arizona’s POST.  You will also be screened for drugs in your system at this point.

Step 9. Attend Police Academy for Training

After you have passed your medical examination, you will receive basic training for 16 weeks (640 hours) at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center.  If you live in Tucson, you will not be staying overnight at the Center.  Lodging and meals are provided for you if you live over 35 miles from Tucson and are not an employee of the Tucson Police Department.  You will be required to have a 70% minimum grade in each of your testing blocks.

You will be required to stay in top physical shape, and you will be trained and tested according to the Police Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT).  You will have to achieve a minimum score in each of the following components:

  • Running 500 yards
  • Going through an obstacle course that is 99 yards long
  • Dragging a dummy that is 165 b
  • Climbing a 6 foot fence (chain link)
  • Climbing a 6 foot wall

You will also learn a number of applied skills, and you will have to meet minimum standards in each of the following areas:

  • Defensive tactics
  • Drivers training
  • Emergency medical care
  • Firearms training:
    • Daytime and nighttime attempts with a handgun
    • Tests of judgment in when to shoot or not shoot
    • Shotgun training
  • Practical Problems
  • Report writing
  • Search techniques

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