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Law Enforcement Careers in Colorado

The Colorado State Patrol and many country sheriff’s departments and city PDs support law enforcement jobs in Colorado. Those interested in pursing police training in Colorado are encouraged to satisfy all candidate requirements before contacting the agency that interests them.

Jobs with the Colorado State Patrol

The Colorado State Patrol employs more than 900 Sworn Officers and civilian personnel. In particular, the Executive Security Unit (ESU) of the Colorado State Patrol consists of troopers, civilian security guards, and a command center workforce. The Executive Security Unit also provides transportation and security for the Governor and the First Family.

Other programs of the Colorado State Patrol include:

  • Aircraft
  • Canine Team
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Homeland Security
  • Immigration
  • Investigations
  • Motor Carrier Safety
  • Motorcycle Operations
  • Port of Entry
  • Professional Standards
  • Technical Accident Reconstruction

All members of the ESU have specialized training in bomb detection, critical incident management, dignitary protection, and media relations.

Candidates for State Trooper Jobs in Colorado must meet a set of minimum requirements. In particular, before individuals can qualify for State Trooper Training in Colorado through the police academy they must be: 20 ½ years old; they must have a high school diploma or GED: and they must have a current and valid Colorado driver’s license.


Further, all candidates must pass an extensive background investigation; psychological examination; a medical exam; physical fitness/agility tests; and a pre-employment polygraph.

Municipal Police Departments in Colorado


The Denver Police Department is divided into six decentralized district commands, each of which has its own stand-alone station as its base of operations:

  • District 1: NW
  • District 2: North Central
  • District 3: SE
  • District 4: SW
  • District 5: NE
  • District 6: Downtown

All candidates seeking Police Officer Jobs in Denver must be U.S. citizens and must show proof of Colorado Residency. Further, before individuals can apply for Police Officer Training in Denver they must be at least 21 years of age, and they must possess either a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license.

Colorado Springs

The Colorado Springs Police Department has a total of 641 Sworn Officers, or about 1.5 sworn personnel per 1,000citizens. The Department is divided up into the following Bureaus:

  • Patrol Bureau – The Patrol Bureau consists of four area commands: Stetson Hills, Gold Hill, Sand Creek, and Falcon.
  • Operations Support Bureau – Within the Operations Support Bureau is the Investigation Division, which is further broken down into three areas:
    • Specialized Enforcement Division
    • Investigations Division
    • Metro Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence

Some of the services provided by the Operations Support Bureau include:

  • Violent Crimes Investigations
  • Sex Crimes Investigation
  • Investigation of Property and Personal Crimes
  • Regional Crime Lab
  • Tactical Enforcement
  • Violent Crimes Investigation
  • Canine Unit
  • Marshals Units
  • Air Support Helicopter Unit

Candidates interested in Police Officer jobs in Colorado Springs must meet minimum requirements to be considered for employment. In particular, before candidates can qualify for Police Officer Training in Colorado Springs they must be at least 21 years of age; they must have no felony convictions; they must have no history of domestic violence; and they must have an associate’s degree or 60 college semester hours.


The Aurora Police Department is divided into three districts and the following units:

  • Patrol Officers
  • Police Area Representatives
  • K-9 Officers
  • School Resource Officers
  • Traffic Accident Investigators
  • Motorcycle Enforcement Team
  • Motor Carrier Safety Officers
  • SWAT Officers
  • Narcotics Investigators

All applicants for Police Officer Jobs in Aurora must be at least 21 before Police Officer Training in Aurora at the academy. They must also be a citizen of the United States, they must possess a high school diploma or GED, and they must have a valid driver’s license.


The Boulder Police Department consists of a Patrol unit, which includes a number of special units, including DUI Enforcement, School Resource Units, and a Community Services Unit.

The Boulder Police Department also includes a Detective Division, which includes three sergeants and 20 detectives who are tasked with investigating financial crimes, major crimes, family crimes, and computer crimes.  This Division also oversees the Department’s crime analysis unit and intelligence unit.

All applicants for Police Officer Jobs in Boulder must be at least 21 years of age and must have 60 accredited college hours before they can begin Police Officer Training in Boulder. They must also meet specific physical requirements and pass a background investigation.


The Lakewood Police Department includes 400 employees and more than 100 volunteers. The Patrol Division is comprised of special teams and community programs, including:

  • Community Services Officer Team
  • K-9 Unit Team
  • Colorado Mills Mall Team
  • Special Enforcement Team
  • Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)

The Investigation Division includes three teams: Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Property, and Criminalistics.

All individuals interested in Police Officer Jobs in Lakewood must pass an Essential Functions examination and a Suitability Test, and they must pass an interview with the Oral Board. Further, before candidates can complete Police Officer Training in Lakewood they must pass a psychological screening, background investigation, and a polygraph exam.

County Sheriff’s Departments in Colorado

The largest counties in Colorado include:

El Paso

The El Paso Sheriff’s Department includes an area of 2,158 square miles and is separated into the following Bureaus:

Individuals interested in Deputy Sheriff Jobs in El Paso County may seek specialized jobs in the following units: mounted unit, SWAT team, traffic unit, K-9 unit, crime reduction unit, and a community support unit.


The Denver Sheriff’s Department covers both the city and county of Denver and Deputy Sheriff Jobs in Denver County. The Department includes the County Jail Division, the Downtown Division, and the Technology, Support and Special Projects Division. The 900 uniformed and non-uniformed employees also oversee two jails, District and County court system security, transportation for state inmates, extradition duties, and community corrections work release programs.


The Arapahoe Sheriff’s Department, which serves about 173,000 residents, includes the following Bureaus:

  • Administration
  • Detention/Administrative Services Bureau
  • Professional Standards Bureau
  • Public Safety Bureau

Individuals interested in Deputy Sheriff Training and Deputy Sheriff Jobs in Arapahoe can contact the Department’s Administration Division.

Colorado Law Enforcement Salaries

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, released by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides the following Colorado law enforcement salaries during 2010:

  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $77,000
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $86,870
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $62,950

Salaries among Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Colorado

Area name
Annual mean wage
Boulder CO
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
Pueblo CO
Estimate Not Released
East and South Colorado nonmetropolitan area
West Colorado nonmetropolitan area

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Colorado

At the municipal level, salaries among police officers and sheriffs vary from city to city. For example, the Colorado Springs Police Department offers police officer recruits a starting salary of $42,804 during academy training, and increases are received each year upon the anniversary of academy training. Police officers with previous law enforcement experience are considered laterals and are started at a salary of $58,248.

As of January 1, 2013, the Denver Police Department laid out the following salary schedule among its law enforcement professionals:

  • Police Officer Recruit: $46,449
  • Police Officer 4th Grade: $51,610
  • Police Officer 3rd Grade: $57,123
  • Police Officer 2nd Grade: $61,158
  • Police Officer 1st Grade: $76,932
  • Detective: $84,710
  • Corporal: $84,710
  • Sergeant: $91,980
  • Lieutenant: $105,487
  • Captain: $118,829

Salaries among Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Colorado

Area name
Annual mean wage
Boulder CO
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
Fort Collins-Loveland CO
Greeley CO
Pueblo CO
East and South Colorado nonmetropolitan area
West Colorado nonmetropolitan area
Northcentral Colorado nonmetropolitan area
Central Colorado nonmetropolitan area

State Trooper Salary in Colorado

At the level of the Colorado State Patrol, the state trooper salary in Colorado is laid out by rank as follows:

  • Cadet (22-week academy and 11-week field): $43,176 to $61,368
  • Trooper: $50,004 to $71,040
  • Corporal: $52,560 to $74,700
  • Sergeant: $59,160 to $84,096

Salaries among Police Supervisors and Detectives in Colorado

Area name
Annual mean wage
Boulder CO
Colorado Springs CO
Estimate Not Released
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
Fort Collins-Loveland CO
Greeley CO
Pueblo CO
East and South Colorado nonmetropolitan area
West Colorado nonmetropolitan area
Northcentral Colorado nonmetropolitan area

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