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How to Become a Police Officer in Colorado

Becoming a Police Officer in Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, a Home Rule Municipality, has a population of 332,354, making it Colorado’s third largest city. The brave and capable Aurora PD officers were recently in the world spotlight on July 21, 2012, when a crazed young man entered an Aurora movie theater and shot 59 people, killing 12 of them. Many have responded to this tragic incident by answering the call to protect and serve the citizens of Aurora.

This guide describes how you can join Aurora’s distinguished police force as a Recruit. The eight steps to becoming a police officer in Aurora are as follows:

  1. Qualification and Application
  2. Examination
  3. Documentation
  4. Background investigation
  5. Conditional job offer
  6. Testing
  7. Certification/Final Job Offer
  8. Training Academy

Step 1. Qualification and Application

The minimum police officer requirements you must meet for consideration as an Aurora Police Recruit are:

  • Must be 21 years of age by start of Academy.
  • Must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must have correctable visual acuity of 20/20 and normal color vision.
  • Must be fluent in English.
  • Must be physically fit.

Complete an online application and submit it to the Aurora Human Resources Department.

Step 2. Ergometrics Frontline Exam

When your application is accepted you will receive an e-mail directing you to the time and place to take the ergonomics frontline test, a three-part national law enforcement multiple-choice video test that assesses your reading comprehension as well as your ability to respond correctly to various situations and report events logically.

Step 3. Documentation

You will be asked to complete a personal history statement and submit official documentation of your motor vehicle driving record, current credit report and military honorable discharge (if applicable).

Step 4. Background Investigation

All aspects of your background, and the veracity of the answers on your personal history statement, will be investigated by an outside contractor in accordance with strict California POST (Police Officer Selection Standards) guidelines. They may require you to undergo a polygraph examination and job suitability assessment.

Step 5. Conditional Job Offer

A final review of all prior steps in the hiring process will, hopefully, result in a conditional job offer.

Step 6. Testing

You will be required to pass a physical fitness test, medical exam, psychological assessment and substance abuse screening.

There are two phases to the physical fitness test. The first phase involves climbing, unaided, over a 6-foot chain link fence. The second phase begins with exiting a patrol car to capture a suspect. You will have to run 130 yards, crawl under a table, climb through a 30-inch by 30-inch window situated 49 inches above the ground, run up a flight of stairs, and drag a 150-pound dummy a distance of five feet. View the test here.

Step 7. Certification/Final Job Offer

Once you successfully complete all tests your name will be placed on a certification list of candidates and you will be issued a final job offer.

Step 8. Training Academy

The 26-week Aurora Police Academy consists of a daily (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.) routine that combines classroom instruction, physical conditioning and practical skills training. Academy graduation will be followed by a period of field training during which you will be paired with a training officer. You will receive the full starting salary of $47,808/year and all benefits while at the Academy and during field training. That wage increases to $68,203 by your fourth year with the Aurora Police Department. All Aurora police officers have 40 hours of in-service training every year.

Becoming a Police Officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Beautiful Colorado Springs, the second largest city in the state, lies at the foot of Pike’s Peak. The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) gained national fame in 2001 with the capture of members of the notorious “Texas Seven” escapees.

This guide describes how you can become a member of this proud force. Follow the 10 steps in this guide to learn how to become a Colorado Springs police officer:

  1. Qualify
  2. Apply
  3. Written Tests
  4. Physical Abilities Test
  5. Oral Board
  6. Background Investigation
  7. Conditional Offer
  8. Medical Exam/Psychological Evaluation
  9. Final Offer and Academy Training

You must successfully complete each step of the process in order to continue.

Step 1. Qualify

You must satisfy all of these requirements to become a CSPD recruit. Note that items like age and education have until the date of hire to be met.

  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. citizen
  • Good physical condition
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Associates Degree or 60 college semester hours
  • No dishonorable discharge from the military
  • No felony convictions
  • No misdemeanor convictions related to domestic violence
  • No marijuana use in past 18 months or other illegal drugs in past three years
  • No DUI or license suspension in past three years

The ability to speak a second language is a plus.

Step 2. Apply

Complete and submit online application form as directed on the CSPD website. When your application is accepted you will receive an email detailing testing date and time.

Step 3. Written Tests

You will be required to complete two written tests. The first is a job suitability test that assesses the compatibility of your personality with the job of police officer. There is no study guide for this test.

The second is a two-and-a-half-hour multiple choice test that includes both cognitive and integrity elements. Study guides available through the CSPD website.

Step 4. Physical Abilities Test

The test encompasses four components:

  1. One minute of continuous push-ups
  2. One minute of continuous sit-ups
  3. Illinois Agility Run
  4. Beep Test

The Illinois Agility Run is a 5-meter course with two turns and strategically placed cones that the runner must avoid knocking over.

The Beep Test examines running aerobic fitness. It involves running as fast as possible between two lines placed 20 meters apart. The runner must change directions whenever there is a recorded beep. The beeps become closer together as the test progressed.

Step 5. Oral Board

You will be asked questions by a panel of CSPD officers. Answer each question truthfully and distinctly. The panel members will be evaluating your appearance and demeanor as well as your verbal communication skills.

Step 6. Background Investigation

Your past behavior will be thorough ally investigated. Credible evidence of any of the following could result in your immediate disqualification:

  • False or omitted information on application
  • Failure to pay child support or taxes
  • Failure to disclose being fired from a job
  • Lack of integrity
  • Problems with alcohol
  • Financial irresponsibility

Step 7. Conditional Offer

You’ll receive a job offer contingent upon successfully completing Step 8.

Step 8. Medical Examination/Psychological Evaluation

You will be examined by a physician and a psychologist to assure that you are physically and mentally able to perform the duties of a police officer.

Step 9. Final Offer and Academy Training

You will be required to attend the Colorado Springs Police Department Academy in Colorado Springs for 25 weeks. It is not a live-in academy and you will receive full recruit pay while attending. Academy instructions will be combined with actual work experience.

CSPD recruits receive a starting salary of $3,567/month. Benefits include medical, dental and life insurance, education assistance, uniforms, a pension plan, paid sick and funeral leaves, and paid vacations.

Becoming a Police Officer in Denver, Colorado

With 634,265 residents, Denver is Colorado’s largest city and the proud home to one of the most distinguished law enforcement agencies in the Western United States. The Denver Police Department provides full police services to the city of Denver and the surrounding county.

This guide details the Denver Police Department’s hiring process for new recruits. If you’ve got what it takes to become a Denver Police Officer and would like to learn how, follow the steps in this guide:

  1. Application
  2. Initial Testing
  3. Background History
  4. Physical Ability Test
  5. Polygraph and Suitability Tests
  6. Psychological Evaluation
  7. Background Investigation
  8. Eligible Register
  9. Conditional Job Offer
  10. Medical Evaluation
  11. Final Job Offer/ Academy

Step 1. Application

Be sure you satisfy these minimum requirements before applying:

  • U.S. Citizen (proof required).
  • Denver County resident by time of appointment.
  • At least 21 years old
  • High school graduate or GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Good moral character
  • No felony convictions or legal impediments
  • No misdemeanor convictions involving domestic violence, assault, sexual conduct, child abuse, animal cruelty or discrimination
  • No DUIs or DWATs in last five years
  • No history of illegal drug use
  • No major driving convictions

Fill out an online application and select a testing date.

Step 2. Testing

Testing begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. No one will be admitted after the doors close so arrive by 7:15. There are three or four tests. If you fail a test you will be excused without continuing.

  1. Computerized written test includes 44 writing ability questions (grammar, spelling and punctuation) and 58 human relations questions that test your ability to follow rules, ethics, self-control, decision-making, etc.
  2. Computerized Video Test examines situational judgment by showing various scenarios and asking you to choose the best of four possible responses.
  3. Behavioral Questionnaire asks about free-time activities, drug/alcohol use, etc.
  4. Language Skill Assessment tests your ability to speak a second-language.

Step 3. Background History Form

You are asked about such things as your driving record, school performance, reasons for ending employments, military experience, etc.

Step 4. Physical Ability Test

You will sit in a patrol car, with doors closed, when you receive a radio message describing a suspect’s clothing. You must exit the car, run 130 yards, climb over a chain-link fence, go through a 30” by 30” window frame, crawl under two tables, correctly identify the suspect from four differently dressed mannequins and drag the 150-pound dummy five feet to cross a line.

You should be able to complete this test in 63 seconds.

Step 5. Polygraph and Suitability Tests

After taking a lie-detector test you will be asked to complete a written questionnaire designed to determine your suitability for the work of a police officer.

Step 6. Psychological Evaluation

A police department psychologist will personally interview you.

Step 7. Background Investigation

There will be a comprehensive investigation of your past employments, school performance, driving record, credit history, personal relationships, etc.

Step 8. Eligible Record

When you have successfully completed all of the previous steps, your name and score will be placed on an “eligible” list. You will be notified when job openings occur.

Step 9. Conditional Job Offer

You will be given a job offer contingent upon successfully completing the final steps.

Step 10. Medical Evaluation

You will be given a complete physical, including hearing and vision tests, and asked to complete a psychological suitability questionnaire.

Step 11. Final Job Offer

You’ll receive a job offer after which you will attend the Denver Police Academy for 25-28 weeks. You’ll spend eight-hours a day, five days a week, attending classroom and field courses covering subjects like patrol procedures, state/municipal statues, computer report writing, public relations, crime scene investigation, use of force, firearms training, vehicle stops, first aid/CPR, self-defense, arrest control and ethics.

New recruits receive a starting salary of $46,449/year as well as medical/dental insurance, paid sick leave/vacations, free uniforms/equipment and a pension plan.

If you are a recent high school graduate or college student, check out the benefits of applying for the Denver Police Department Cadet Program.

Becoming a Police Officer in Ft. Collins, Colorado

Ft. Collins, Colorado is nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills just 57 miles north of Denver. With 143,986 residents as of 2010, the home of Colorado State University is the state’s fourth largest city. Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) is considered one of the country’s most advanced law enforcement agencies.

In order to become a Ft. Collins police officer, you must successfully complete all seven steps of the hiring process. You’ll be notified after each step whether you passed and are invited to continue. The process can take up to seven months. The seven steps are as follows:

  1. Qualify/submit application.
  2. Take written and physical fitness tests.
  3. Participate in two oral interviews.
  4. Take a truth verification test and undergo background investigation.
  5. Attend a final interview.
  6. Have medical tests.
  7. Go through training.

Step 1. Qualify/Submit Application

Check here to see if Ft. Collins Police Services (FCPS) has any current openings. If so, determine if you qualify and follow instructions for submitting an online application. The minimum qualifications for Ft. Collins police officer are:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old.
  • Must speak fluent English and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must have completed a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter hours from an accredited college/university with at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • Must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military.
  • Must never have been convicted of a felony.
  • Must not have any misdemeanor convictions, or driving arrests involving reckless driving or alcohol/illegal drug usage in the last three years.

Step 2. Written and Physical Fitness Tests

The written test covers such things as reading comprehension, basic math, spatial recognition, grammar/punctuation/spelling and logical reasoning.

The physical agility test requires you to successfully perform the following:

  • 17-inch vertical jump
  • Timed run on a course that includes zigzagging between cones
  • 35 sit-ups in one minute
  • 16 push-ups (not timed)
  • 300-meter run in 64 seconds
  • 1.4-mile run on outdoor track in 15 min. 45 seconds

Step 3. Oral Interviews

You will participate in both a general job interview that incorporates completing a Personal History Statement (PHS) and an “Integrity” interview focused on items in your PHS. Emphasis is on honesty, truthfulness and complete transparency. The FCPS realizes no one is perfect and it is acceptable to learn from your past mistakes.

Step 4. Truth Verification and Background Investigation

You will be asked to take a polygraph exam and there will be an extensive investigation of your past. Any uncovered evidence of untruthfulness, purposeful omissions or a general lack of integrity will result in automatic disqualification.

Step 5. Final Interview

This personal interview usually results in a job offer contingent upon completion of step 6.

Step 6. Medical Exams

You will have a thorough examination by a physician, an evaluation by a psychologist and a drug screening.

Step 7. Training

You will attend a 21-week program at the Adams County Law Enforcement Training Academy in Brighton, CO, that meets all Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) requisites. The curriculum includes classroom and field instruction subjects like the law, criminal justice, community policing, investigative procedures, defense tactics, firearms, patrol practices, victim’s rights, etc.

Upon graduation you will experience eight weeks of in-house training on Ft. Collins police standards/methods and 15 weeks of field training during which you will be paired with an experienced field training officer. You will become a certified Ft. Collins police officer after completing training.

Salary and Benefits

The FCPS offers exceptional salaries and benefits. Entry-level police officer salary is $54,065 which increases to $58,386 upon certification. By your third year you will be earning approximately $73,580.

FCPS benefits include vacation, holiday and sick-leave pay, medical/dental/vision insurance for your entire family, retirement plan, life insurance, uniforms, take-home car, and tuition assistance. Many officers believe one of the greatest benefits is living in Ft. Collins which Money magazine named, “Best Place to Live in the U.S.,” in 2006.

Becoming a Police Officer in Lakewood, Colorado

Lakewood, Colorado, a home rule municipality located seven miles west of Denver in the Rocky Mountain foothills, has 144,406 residents, making it Colorado’s fifth largest city. The Lakewood Police Department (LPD), which boasts over 400 employees and 100 volunteers, describes itself as a “progressive organization seeking a diverse range of applicants.”

If you wish to learn how to become a Lakewood Police Agent you must successfully complete nine steps designed to evaluate your suitability for the department’s available police jobs:

  1. Qualification/Application
  2. Essential Functions Examination
  3. Suitability Test
  4. Oral Board
  5. Psychological Screening
  6. Polygraph Test
  7. Background Investigation
  8. Evaluation and Medical Exam
  9. Job Offer and Training

Step 1. Qualification/Application

You must satisfy all of these requirements to qualify as a Lakewood police agent:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • At least 21 Years Old
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any Discipline (NO exceptions)
  • No Felonies Committed After Age 17

Applications are only accepted online and when a position is open. You can check for openings here and/or fill out a job interest form to be notified when openings occur. You will be informed whether or not your application has been accepted and given the date/time to appear for testing.

Step 2. Essential Functions Examination

You must complete a timed obstacle course that has been specifically designed to test basic functions needed for the job of Lakewood police agent. These functions include things like running, rapidly changing direction, going over a wall, crawling under obstacles, climbing over a chain link fence, running up and down stairways, and pulling a heavy object.

Step 3. Suitability Test

This written test is intended to reveal any of your habits, traits and/or behaviors that could be counter-productive for the work of a police agent.

Step 4. Oral Board

You will meet in person with representatives of the Lakewood Police Department who will ask you general knowledge questions and quiz you about things like your past employment, professional commitment, interpersonal relations and integrity. Wear business attire and be aware that your demeanor and communications skills are being evaluated.

Step 5. Psychological Screening

You will complete a written questionnaire after which you will be personally interviewed by a psychologist.

Step 6. Polygraph Test

The lie detector test will expose any falsehoods or omissions on your application or other tests so always be truthful. Dishonesty and lack of integrity are automatic disqualifiers.

Step 7. Background Investigation

There will be an exhaustive examination of all aspects of your life, including your school, employment, financial, driving and criminal histories. Your references will be contacted.

Step 8. Evaluation and Medical Exam

Your performance on each step of the hiring process will be evaluated by the Professional Standards Section Commander and members of the Department of Employment Resources department. If they determine that you should be given a job offer you will be referred to a licensed physician for a thorough medical examination and drug screening

Step 9. Job Offer and Training

Upon passing the physical you will be hired as a Lakewood Police Agent recruit.

Your training will include 24 weeks of instruction at the Lakewood Police Academy where you will spend eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, learning about civil laws/codes and Lakewood Police Department policies and procedures. You will also be instructed in firearms, driving tactics, arrest control, investigative techniques, Spanish for law enforcement, victim’s rights, etc. The academy will be followed by 16 weeks of field training in which you will be paired with a highly trained officer.

Lakewood Police Department Salaries and Benefits

Your salary will be $50,648 while at the academy, $54,059 during field training and $57,699 following graduation. Subsequent increases are: two years- $61,588; three years-$65,769; four years-$70,179; five years-$75,462.

Benefits include health/dental insurance, department- paid life insurance, pension plan, tuition assistance and generous leave policies.

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