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How to Become a Police Officer in Florida

Becoming a Police Officer in Jacksonville, Florida

The city of Jacksonville, Florida offers plenty of opportunities if you’re interested in learning how to become a police officer. Jacksonville police jobs are numerous and in-demand, as the city is the second most populous in the state and is continuing to grow.

When thinking about how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Jacksonville, there are a series of steps you will have to complete in the application process:

  • Step 1: Review basic requirements and complete an application
  • Step 2: Complete a written examination
  • Step 3: Pass a physical agility test
  • Step 4: Pass a background check
  • Step 5: Participate in an oral board interview
  • Step 6: Polygraph, drug screen and medical examination
  • Step 7: Enroll in police academy training

Step 1. Review Basic Requirements and Complete an Application

When becoming a police officer in Jacksonville, you must first meet a specific set of basic requirements to be eligible for available jobs. These requirements include:

  • You must possess a high school diploma or GED
  • You must have a Bachelor’s Degree or an Associate’s Degree in combination with four years of military/ law enforcement experience or 90 semester/ 135 quarterly hours of advanced schooling in combination with 2 years of military service
  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You must be a citizen of the United States
  • You must possess a Florida driver’s license
  • You must be in good physical condition and of good moral character
  • You must not have any felony charges, dishonorable discharges or misdemeanors concerning violent and aggressive charges, perjury or false statement charges
  • You must pass the Civilian Basic Abilities Test (CBAT)

If you meet all of those basic requirements, then the next step is to complete an application with the Jacksonville, Florida Police Department. The application is a basic document that will ask you for information regarding work experience and education experience, as well as other special qualifications and skills that you may possess that would make you a good candidate as a police officer with the Jacksonville Police Department. If any information on the application is found to be fraudulent, you will be automatically disqualified from consideration.

Step 2. Complete a Written Examination

The written skills test will measure your ability to follow instructions and your familiarity with the English language. In order to pass the test, you must have a score of at least 75-percent.

Step 3. Pass a Physical Agility Test

The next step in the process is a physical agility test. The physical agility test is constructed of a series of tests (sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, running, etc.) that will measure your strength, stamina, perseverance and ability to handle the physical stress that comes with the position.

Step 4. Pass a Background Check

The background check will seek to verify most of the information provided on your application. The bulk of the background check will focus on the following information:

  • Credit history
  • Work history going back 10 years
  • Driving history
  • Criminal history
  • Rental and home ownership history

If any information is found to be inaccurate (as reported on your application) you will be asked about it. If it is found to be intentionally false, you will be disqualified from consideration.

Step 5. Participate in an Oral Board Interview

Next, you will be interviewed by a group of representatives from the Jacksonville Police Department. These representatives will ask you a series of questions regarding the information they have received so far in the process, as well as special skills and qualifications you have and hypothetical questions meant to measure the way you would respond while on duty.

Step 6. Polygraph, Drug Screen and Medical Examination

When you pass the oral board interview you will be asked to conduct a polygraph test, a drug screen, a psychological evaluation and a medical evaluation. These tests are the final step before enrolling in a police academy and begin training, so the focus is on whether or not you are physically and mentally fit to become a Jacksonville police officer.

Step 7. Enroll in Police Academy Training

The first step in the training process is to enroll in the Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Training and Education Center. The police academy includes classes that will teach you skills in driving and pursuit procedures, arrest procedures, testifying in court, firearm training, crisis intervention, first response tactics, basic medical training and traffic stops, among many other skills. Training at the academy lasts 6-months. Upon completion of the academy you will begin on the job training as a police officer.

Becoming a Police Officer in Maimi, Florida

The city of Miami is the largest city in the state of Florida, and with a metropolitan population of 5.5 million, it is the fourth most populous urban area in the entire United States. Since Miami is so large, there is a dire need for police officers in the area.

There are a variety of Miami police jobs available in the city, including patrol officers, criminal investigators, forensics specialists and special investigation units, among many other positions.

When considering how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Miami, there are a series of steps you must go through. This guide outlines the process you’ll go through in order to become a Miami police officer:

  • Step 1: Review basic requirements and complete an application
  • Step 2: Pass the City of Miami Civil Service test
  • Step 3: Pass the physical agility exam
  • Step 4: Background investigation
  • Step 5: Fingerprints, polygraph test and toxicology screen
  • Step 6: Post-offer medical examination
  • Step 7: Begin basic training

Step 1. Review Basic Requirements and Complete an Application

When becoming a police officer in Miami, you will first have to meet certain criteria and basic requirements. The basic requirements for police officers in Miami, Florida are the following:

  • Must be at least 19 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have a valid driver’s license from any state in the country
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have at least 20/50 vision uncorrected, or 20/30 corrected
  • Must not have a felony, a misdemeanor involving violence, aggression or perjury and not have a dishonorable discharge from a military organization
  • Must have a passing score in the FBAT

If you meet all of the basic requirements, then you will have to fill-out an application for the Miami police officer job. The application will ask you about work experience, education experience, medical history and other information about your background, qualifications, experiences and skills.

Step 2. Pass the City of Miami Civil Service Test

The next step in the process is to complete and pass the City of Miami Civil Service Examination. The test is a written examination and typically takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete. The purpose of the exam is to measure your abilities to make good decisions, follow instructions, deal with stress and to complete a protective services profile.

Step 3. Pass the Physical Agility Exam

The physical agility exam will measure your health, stamina, strength and endurance.

Step 4. Background Investigation

The next step will be a background check, in which all of the information provided by you to the Miami Police Department up to this point will be verified. If any false information is discovered you will be automatically disqualified from becoming a Police Officer with the Miami, Florida Police Department.

Step 5. Fingerprints, Polygraph Test and Toxicology Screen

Upon passing the background check, you will then have your fingerprints taken in order to run them through federal databases and criminal records. Next, you will be subject to a polygraph test, which will focus on personal history and various aspects of your background. The final test will be a toxicology screen, which will test for illegal and illicit substances in your system. If you pass all of these tests, then you will be offered a job with the Miami Police Department, pending an in-person interview.

Step 6. Post-offer Medical Examination

After you receive an offer for a job as a Miami police officer you will subjected to a medical examination. The point of the medical exam is to make sure you are physically fit enough to handle the pressures and demands of the position. If you are, then you will be enrolled in basic training courses.

Step 7. Begin Basic Training

Basic training as a Miami police officer takes place at the Police Academy, a part of the City of Miami Police College. The classes take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and it takes approximately 6 months to complete training.

The classes include teaching you all of the skills you need to become a police officer. Upon successful completion of basic training, you will be placed in a position as a Miami Police Officer.

Becoming a Police Officer in Orlando, Florida

The city of Orlando is the third-largest city in the state of Florida and offers plenty of opportunities for prospective police officers. The duties involved in Orlando police jobs include routine traffic stops, criminal investigations, crime scene management, forensics and assisting state and federal agencies, among many other duties.

The application and recruitment process for the Orlando Police Department includes the following:

  • Step 1: Review basic qualifications and complete pre-application
  • Step 2: Complete job application
  • Step 3: Take the CJBAT
  • Step 4: Physical agility test
  • Step 5: Polygraph testing and background investigation
  • Step 6: Oral interview and conditional job offer
  • Step 7: Medical and psychological examinations
  • Step 8: Post-polygraph testing
  • Step 9: Training academy enrollment
  • Step 10: Field training

Step 1. Review Basic Qualifications and Complete Pre-Application

The first step towards becoming a police officer in Orlando, Florida is to review the basic qualifications for the position. The qualifications include the following:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You must be a high school graduate, or have a GED
  • You must have a valid driver’s license for at least a year
  • You must be in good physical condition and of good moral character
  • You must have no felony convictions or misdemeanors that involve detriments to moral character
  • You must live within a 35-mile radius of Orlando city limits

If you meet the basic requirements and qualifications, you must then fill-out a pre-application. The pre-application will inform you of the duties required of a police officer and will ask you about your basic qualifications, experience and skills. You will then be contacted by a representative from the Orlando Police Department and invited to continue on in the application process, if they feel you are fit and qualified for the job.

Step 2. Complete Job Application

Once invited by the department, you will then be required to fill-out a more comprehensive application. The full-application will ask you to provide a thorough breakdown of your work history, education experience and your background.

Step 3. Take the CJBAT

Next, you will be required to take the Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (CJBAT.) The test is administered via computer and takes approximately two-and-a-half hours to complete. The test will measure your basic understanding of criminal justice and the responsibilities of the job.

Step 4. Physical Agility Test

Upon completion of the CJBAT, you will be invited to take the physical agility test. The test requires that you complete 15 push-ups in one minute, complete 25 sit-ups in one minute and complete a 1.5 mile run in less than 18-minutes.

Step 5. Polygraph Testing and Background Investigation

When considering how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Orlando, having a good moral character is a large factor in getting the job. To test your moral character, the department will administer a polygraph test and background investigation.

The background investigation will delve into various aspects of your history (medical, criminal, rental, etc.) and will look for any discrepancies involving the information you provided in your job application. Any falsified information contained on your application will disqualify you from continuing on in the application and recruitment process.

Step 6. Oral Interview and Conditional Job Offer

Next will be an oral interview with representatives from the Orlando Police Department. If you successfully pass the oral interview, you will be given a conditional job offer. The conditions involve completing the rest of the steps in the process.

Step 7. Medical and Psychological Examinations

The purpose of the medical and psychological exams are to ensure that you are mentally and physically prepared to deal with the often stressful parts of the job.

Step 8. Post-polygraph Testing

Upon completion of all the previous steps you will once again be polygraph tested to double-check that all information is truthful and reliable.

Step 9. Training Academy Enrollment

After the post-polygraph test, you will be asked to enroll in the training academy. During the time in the academy, you will be hired on as a temporary employee, which pays $16 an hour. While in the academy, you will be trained in the following areas:

  • Florida law
  • Search and seizure procedures
  • Rules of evidence
  • Sex crime investigation
  • Patrol techniques and procedures
  • Accident investigation
  • Laws of arrest
  • Defensive tactics and firearm training
  • First aid

Step 10. Field Training

After basic training at the academy, you will move onto field training. The field training program takes 22-weeks to complete and focuses on working with Orlando police officers in the field and learning the job in the process. Each of the four phases will focus on different aspects of the job. Upon completion of the four phases you will be evaluated and then placed in a position that the department feels meets your strengths.

Becoming a Police Officer in St. Petersburg, Florida

In terms of population, St. Petersburg is the fourth-largest city in Florida. With a population of more than 250,000, opportunities may be available if you’re interested in working for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

St. Petersburg police jobs include criminal investigators, traffic patrol, forensics specialists and first responders, among many other positions. Becoming a police officer in St. Petersburg requires completing a multi-step hiring and training process.

The following are the basic steps you will have to complete in order to become a police officer in St. Petersburg:

  • Step 1: Review basic qualifications and complete a job application
  • Step 2: Complete a physical agilities test
  • Step 3: Complete a written examination
  • Step 4: Conduct a background investigation and polygraph test
  • Step 5: Be interviewed
  • Step 6: Complete a psychological examination and medical examination
  • Step 7: Enroll in the training academy

Step 1. Review Basic Qualifications and Complete a Job Application

The first step in the process involves reviewing basic qualification and requirements for the department. Qualifications include the following:

  • Must be at least 19 years of age
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be a high school graduate and have at least 60 hours of secondary education experience
  • Posses a valid driver’s license from the state of Florida
  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Be of good moral character
  • Live within 60-miles of the city limits

If you meet the qualifications, the next step will be to fill-out a job application with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Step 2. Complete a Physical Agility Test

The police department will then review your application. If they feel you are a good candidate, you will be contacted and invited to complete the physical agilities test. The agility test will see how well you can do the following:

  • Exit a police vehicle and remove items from the glove box and the vehicle in a timely and efficient manner
  • Run 220 yards without getting winded
  • Climbing a 40-foot wall, jumping over hurdles and crawling through small enclosures
  • Drag a 150-pound dummy for 100-yards
  • Being able to draw your weapon in the correct position and quickly with both hands

Step 3. Complete a Written Examination

The written examination will focus on your ability to follow directions and your basic knowledge of policing procedures.

Step 4. Undergo a Background Investigation and Polygraph

A background investigation will then be conducted. The information that the St. Petersburg Police Department will obtain will involve work history, medical history, credit history and education history, among other things. The information obtained will be compared to your application, and any discrepancies will be addressed during the polygraph test. If any information is found to be false you will be disqualified from the position automatically.

Step 5. Be Interviewed

Once you pass the background check, you will be interviewed by a panel of representatives from the department. The interview will go over all of the information obtained by the department up to this point in the process.

Step 6. Complete a Psychological Examination and Medical Examination

When it comes to how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in St. Petersburg, the next step will be the completion of a psychological and medical examination. These examinations are meant to measure your abilities to handle stress, deal with the public and perform the mental and physical duties required of the position,

Step 7. Enroll in the Training Academy

The training academy is a 21-week intensive course. The classes you will take part in are classes in Florida law, rules of evidence, patrol and arrest techniques, search and seizure, human relations, sex crime investigation, firearms handling, first aid, human diversity and a host of other classes meant to teach you the ropes. Once you graduate from the training academy you will be placed in on-the-job training and will officially be a full-time officer in the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Becoming a Police Officer in Tampa, Florida

With more than 1,000 sworn officers, the Tampa Police Department is one of the largest in the state of Florida. The Tampa Police Department assigns officers to one of four districts throughout the city. Additionally, there is a special staff of officers that support all districts.

Becoming a police officer in Tampa requires completing a series of steps. Review these steps when considering how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Tampa:

  • Step 1: Review qualifications
  • Step 2: Complete application
  • Step 3: Pass physical capabilities test
  • Step 4: Background investigation
  • Step 5: Interview
  • Step 6: Pass psychological, medical and drug screen examinations
  • Step 7: Enroll in training academy

Step 1. Review Qualifications

The first step is to review the basic qualifications and requirements for police jobs in Tampa. The requirements are as follows:

  • Must posses an Associate’s Degree or an equivalent two-year degree from an accredited school
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be in good physical condition
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must be available to work at any given moment
  • Must not have any felony convictions
  • Must not have any misdemeanors that are violent or aggressive in nature, or reflect poorly on your moral character

Step 2. Complete Application

If you meet the basic requirements and qualifications, the next step is to complete the City of Tampa basic application. The application will cover your work experience, special skills and qualifications and various other background information. If the Tampa, Florida Police Department feels you are a good candidate, you will be invited to continue on in the process.

Step 3. Pass Physical Capabilities Test

The physical capabilities test is a state-approved obstacle course, which measures your speed, agility, strength and stamina. The test is timed and includes running, jumping, lifting and other strenuous physical activities that the job requires.

Step 4. Background Investigation

After completing and passing the physical abilities test a background investigation will be conducted. The investigation will include verification of the information you included in your original job application, including work history, criminal history and credit history. A polygraph test will also be issued at this point to verify the information collected in the background check.

Step 5. Interview

If you meet all of the requirements thus far, you will be interviewed by representatives from the Tampa Police Department. The interview will go over your qualifications, skills and all the information that was collected during the process up to this point.

Step 6. Pass Psychological, Medical and Drug Screen Examinations

When the interview process is completed, you will be contacted by the Tampa Police Department and will receive a conditional job offer. The conditions of the job offer include successfully passing a psychological and medical exam, and a drug screen.

Step 7: Enroll in the Training Academy

The training academy will focus on teaching you the basics of police officer duties. The classes include first aid, firearm handling, arrest and traffic stop procedures and a variety of other skills needed on the job. Upon graduating from the academy, you will be enrolled in field training and then hired on as a full-time office for the Tampa, Florida Police Department.

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