Law enforcement jobs in Florida are available through the Florida Highway Patrol and a host of municipal police departments and county sheriff departments. As the fourth most populous state in the nation, law enforcement jobs at the state, city, and county level help create a safe environment for millions of residents.
Highway Patrol Jobs in Florida
The Division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is a division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and is the law enforcement agency that oversees the state’s roads and highways.
The FHP and its troopers are state law enforcement officers and therefore have the power to enforce Florida state law and make arrests.
The Florida Highway Patrol is divided into six bureaus:
- Bureau of Field Operations North and West
- Bureau of Field Operations South and East
- Bureau of Special Operations
- Bureau of Law Enforcement Support Services
- Bureau of Motor Carrier Compliance
- Bureau of Investigations
The Bureaus of Field Operations are divided into a number of Troops, which are then further divided into 30 district headquarters, each of which is commanded by a captain.
There are a number of units within the FHP:
- Traffic Homicide investigations Unit – Consists of 23 squads and 168 full-time investigators
- Drug Interdiction Program – Consists of 20 felony teams and 50 specially trained troopers
- Florida Highway Patrol Flight Section
- Mobile Command Units
- Civilian Community Service Officers – Stationed in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas, as well as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Orange County
- Reaction Force Teams – Consists of 8 teams of 25 Troopers
- Motorcycle Squads – Consists of 54 Troopers
- Tactical Response Teams
Individuals seeking State Trooper jobs in Florida must be at least 19 years old and must be a U.S. citizen. Further, all individuals must meet specific vision, hearing, and weight requirements before they can begin State Trooper training in Florida. They must also hold a high school diploma or GED; they must possess a valid driver’s license; and they must be willing to relocate anywhere in Florida.
In addition, candidates for State Trooper jobs in Florida must meet as least one of the following qualifications: one year of law enforcement experience; two years of active military service; two years of experience in a public contact role; or at least 30 semester hours at an accredited college or university.
Municipal Police Departments in Florida
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) is a joint city-county law enforcement agency which is responsible for law enforcement, investigation and corrections in the city of Jacksonville and in Duval County, Florida, which includes the incorporated cities of Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune Beach. Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach have their own police departments, as well.
The Sheriff’s Office has five departments, which are further divided into divisions, sections, units, zones, and squads. The departments of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office include:
- Department of Patrol and Enforcement
- Department of Investigations and Homeland Security
- Homeland Security and Narcotics/Vice Division
- Department of Personnel and Professional Standards
- Department of Corrections
Individuals seeking Police Officer jobs in Jacksonville must: possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; OR possess at least three years of accredited education with at least two years of related experience; OR possess an associate’s degree and four years of related experience.
Further, before individuals can start Police Officer training in Jacksonville, they must pass a physical fitness and agility program; a medical examination; a psychological screening program; and a background investigation.
The Miami Police Department provides law enforcement, emergency response, order maintenance, and social services to the citizens of Miami. The Miami Police Department consists of the Field Operations Division, under which there are three patrol districts. The police officers of the Field Operations Division may serve in the Department’s specialized units, such as the Marine Patrol, the Mounted Patrol, Canine Detail, the SWAT Team, or the Traffic Unit. Other divisions of the Miami Police Department include the Criminal Investigations Division and the Special Investigations Section.
To meet Police Officer training requirements in Miami, individuals must be at least 19 years old; they must possess a valid driver’s license; they must be a U.S. citizen; they must pass a vision and medical examination; and they must have no felony convictions. Further, individuals who seek Police Officer jobs in Miami must be able to pass a physical agility test; a background investigation; a polygraph examination; and a toxicology screen.
The Tampa Police Department includes the following Bureaus:
- Internal Affairs Bureau
- Legal Bureau
- Criminal Intelligence Bureau
Police operations in the Tampa Police Department include three Districts and an Analytical Crime Mapping Unit.
Individuals seeking Police Jobs in Tampa must be at least 21 years of age; they must be a U.S. citizen; they must have a high school diploma or GED; and they must have a valid Florida driver’s license.
The St. Petersburg Police Department is divided into four organizational subdivisions:
- Office of Chief of Police
- Uniform Services Bureau
- Investigation Services Bureau
- Administrative Services Bureau
Before individuals can be accepted for Police Training in St. Petersburg and Police jobs in St. Petersburg, they must meet minimum requirements, which include completing: a polygraph examination; a vocational assessment; a psychological evaluation; a physical abilities test; a physical examination; and a controlled substance test.
The Orlando Police Department has a Uniformed Police Division and a Criminal Investigations Division, under which there are four sections: violent crimes, youth services, property crimes, and Homeland Security.
Applicants for Police Jobs in Orlando who are accepted to take the civil service exam and prepare for Police Training in Orlando must provide proof of a birth certificate; proof of U.S. citizenship; proof of a high school diploma or GED; sealed college transcripts; and a valid driver’s license.
County Sheriff’s Departments in Florida
The Miami-Dade County Police Department patrols a 2,109-square-mile area, which has about 2 million citizens. The Miami-Dade County Police Department has about 2,900 sworn officers, about 1,700 support personnel, and a County Sheriff. All applicants for Deputy Sheriff Jobs in Miami-Dada County must successfully complete a background investigation and a psychological evaluation.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement and fire rescue services for Broward County. The Sheriff’s Office also serves the unincorporated areas of Broward County, as well as the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, and the Broward County Courthouse. Individuals seeking Sheriff Deputy jobs in Broward County may serve on the County’s many specialized units, including the: Aviation Unit, Bicycle Patrol, Bomb Squad, Canine Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Marine Unit, Dive Team, and SWAT Team, just to name a few.
Florida Law Enforcement Salaries
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, reports the median Florida law enforcement salaries as of 2010 to be as follows:
- Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $70,540
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $62,270
- Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $54,050
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Salaries throughout Florida
Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Florida
There is a large salary variance among police officers and sheriffs throughout Florida, as can be seen by looking at individual cities and their respective police departments.
Daytona Beach Police Department
- Salary range between $34,301.28 and $58,095.96
Fort Myers Police Department
- Starting salary, Certified Police Officer: $39,540
- 3-4 years of prior experience: $40,726
- 5-10 years of prior experience: $41,912
- 11+ years of prior experience: $43,098
Orlando Police Department
- Starting salary (after academy graduation): $41,978
- Top Officer: $67,275
- Shift differential per month: Day shift $137, evening shift $165, midnight shift $197
Miami-Dade County Police Department
- Police Officer: $41,366 to $75,711
- Police Sergeant: $58,007 to $87,452
- Police Major: $87,265 to $137,195
- Police Lieutenant: $70,209 to $101,505
- Police Division Chief: $100,837 to $160,785
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Salaries throughout Florida
State Trooper Salary in Florida
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the starting state trooper salary in Florida is $33,977.04. However, the salary for recruits during training is $30,178.56. State troopers working in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties receive a starting salary of $38,976.84.
Police Supervisors and Detectives Salaries throughout Florida