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Law Enforcement Careers in Arkansas

The Arkansas State Police serves as an umbrella organization that oversees a number of state-wide divisions, including:

  • Administrative Services Division – ASP Personnel and State Trooper Recruiting
  • Highway Patrol Division – Highway Patrol Commanders
  • Criminal Investigation Division (CID) – CID Commanders
  • Crimes Against Children Division – Administrator and Area Offices
  • Highway Safety Office – Highway Safety Plans and Traffic Crash Statistics

State Police Agencies in Arkansas

The Arkansas State Police Commission, which directs all activities and divisions of the Arkansas State Police, consists of a seven member State Police Commission who are appointed by the Governor of Arkansas for a term of seven years.

Highway Patrol -The Highway Patrol Division of the Arkansas State Police, which is divided into an Eastern Region and a Western Region, includes more than 900 State Police employees, two-thirds of which are Arkansas State Police Troopers.

Criminal Investigation Division – The Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division are tasked with investigating criminal cases initiated by the Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies.

Crimes against Children Division – The Crimes against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police includes a central administrative office, as well as eight area investigative offices.

Arkansas Highway Patrol

All candidates for State Trooper jobs in Arkansas must meet a specific set of requirements, which include: must be at least 21 years old; must be a citizen of the United States; must hold a current and valid driver’s license; must have a high school diploma or a GED; must have no felony convictions; must have no misdemeanor domestic violence convictions. Before candidates can begin State Trooper training in Arkansas, they must pass a department physical, a psychological examination, and a polygraph examination.

Municipal Police Departments in Arkansas

Little Rock

The Little Rock Police Department is divided into an Executive Bureau, Field Services Bureau, and Investigative and Support Bureau. There are also three police stations strategically located throughout the city. The Bureaus are further divided into Divisions/Units, which include:

  • Accreditation and Staff Inspections Unit
  • Detective Division
  • Internal Affairs Division
  • Office of Emergency Services/Communications Center
  • Patrol Divisions
  • Records Division
  • Special Investigations Division
  • Special Operations Division
  • Training Division

The Executive Bureau oversees the Support Services Division and the Internal Affairs Division. The Field Services Bureau oversees the Downtown Patrol Division, the Southwest Patrol Division, the Northwest Patrol Division, and the Communications Division. The Investigative and Support Bureau oversees the Major Crimes Division, Special Investigations Division, Training Division and Headquarters.

All candidates for Police Officer jobs in Little Rock must be at least 20 ½ years old, but less than 46 years old; candidates must have a high school diploma or GED; candidates must have no felony convictions; candidates must be a citizen of the United States; and candidates must have acceptable vision and hearing.


The Fayetteville Police Department consists of about 170 sworn Police Officers and civilian members. The Patrol Division within the Police Department is the largest unit, consisting of 71 officers, one captain, two lieutenants, and eight sergeants. The Patrol Unit of the Fayetteville Police Department is divided into the following units:

  • Bicycle Unit
  • Crisis Negotiation Team
  • Emergency Response Team
  • Honor Guard
  • K-9 Unit
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Uniform Patrol

Minimum qualifications for Police Officer jobs in Fayetteville include:

  • U.S. citizens
  • At least 21 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No felony convictions

Further, Police Officer training in Fayetteville includes a physical fitness test and the completion of a field training program.


The Jonesboro Police Department, which includes 150 sworn Police Officers and 33 full- and part-time civilian employees, serves nearly 60,000 residents, as well as many more school-year temporary residents of Arkansas State University. The Jonesboro Police Department includes the following Divisions: Administrative Services Division, Uniform Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and a Special Services Division, which includes the following units:

  • DARE Program
  • Honor Guard Unit
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Reserve Officer Program
  • School Resource Officer Program
  • Tactical Unit
  • Traffic Unit
  • Warrant Unit

Candidates for Police Officer jobs in Jonesboro must meet minimum employment requirements before they can begin Police Officer training in Jonesboro. In particular, all candidates must be at least 21 years old; they must possess a high school diploma or GED; they must have no felony convictions; and they must be able to pass agility tests, a written test, a drug screen, a psychological examination, and an extensive background investigation.

County Sheriff’s Departments in Arkansas

The largest counties in Arkansas include:

Pulaski County

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has five substations (three north of the river and two south of the river), a Patrol Division, and an Investigations Division, which consists of three squads and a Narcotics Unit. Special Units of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department include:

  • Accident Reconstruction Team
  • Honor Guard
  • Reserve Deputy Program
  • SWAT Team
  • Water Patrol

Benton County

The Sheriff’s Office of Benton County serves more than 200,000 residents and patrols an area of about 880 square miles. The Units of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office include:

  • Civil/Warrants
  • Courthouse Security
  • Crime Prevention
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Detention
  • DWI/DUI Task Force
  • Patrol
  • SWAT Team

Washington County

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office includes a Detention Division and an Enforcement Division.

Arkansas Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median Arkansas law enforcement salaries in 2010 were:

  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $35,670
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $38,070
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $52,230

Detective and Criminal Investigator Salaries in Arkansas

Area name
Annual mean wage
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO
Fort Smith AR-OK
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway AR
Memphis TN-MS-AR
Texarkana-Texarkana TX-AR
East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Arkansas

The average police officer and sheriff salary in Arkansas is largely dependent upon the locality in which you work and, of course, the town’s budget and allocated salary structure. For example, the starting salary of police officers working for the Fayetteville Police Department is $33,306 with the potential to earn up to $47,267. Here are some of the other law enforcement salaries in Fayetteville:

  • Deputy Chief of Police: $64,228 to $97,884
  • Police Captain: $55,377 to $78,459
  • Police Chief: $74,353 to $113,314
  • Police Lieutenant: $47,838 to $67,776

Likewise, the Jonesboro Police Department offers their police officers, both certified and non-certified, a starting salary of $31,123.

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salaries in Arkansas

Area name
Annual mean wage
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO
Fort Smith AR-OK
Hot Springs AR
Jonesboro AR
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway AR
Memphis TN-MS-AR
Pine Bluff AR
Texarkana-Texarkana TX-AR
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area

State Trooper Salary in Arkansas

According to the Arkansas State Police, the starting state trooper salary in Arkansas is $36,000 after completion of troop school. There is also additional discretionary pay up to $1,200 annually for certification. Furthermore, state troopers in Arkansas are given the following benefits:

  • Employee and family health insurance paid
  • Retirement contributions paid
  • Career service pay after 10 years

Police Supervisor and Detective Salaries in Arkansas

Area name
Annual mean wage
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO
Fort Smith AR-OK
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway AR
Memphis TN-MS-AR
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area

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