Law Enforcement Careers in Indiana

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Crime Victimization Survey, in 2016 more than 33% of Indiana residents surveyed were victims of serious crimes, with the most prevalent being identify theft and property crimes like burglaries and break-ins. In third place for the number of incidents were stalking and intimidation crimes followed by violent crimes and domestic abuse. Law enforcement officers continue to hold the line to keep the people of Indiana safe, and to intervene and investigate when crimes do occur to ensure victims are vindicated and justice is done.

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Careers in law enforcement in Indiana are available through state, county, and city agencies. Applicants interested in getting a career started with any one of these agencies should have clean criminal background, and a strong moral character. Though a high school education meets minimum requirements in most cases, incentive pay and promotions are available to recruits with college degrees in criminal justice or police science.

Indiana State Troopers

There are more than 1,300 state troopers working for the Indiana State Police, one of the premier state police agencies in the nation.

Candidates for these jobs must submit an application and pass a variety of written, physical, and medical tests. Successful candidates must also have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a relatively clean background.

Indiana Sheriff’s Departments

Both in the major metro areas of Indiana and in outlying rural areas beyond the jurisdiction of municipal police departments, sheriff’s offices handle law enforcement duties and public safety matters. A clean background free of serious criminal offenses and a high school diploma or GED are the standard minimum requirements to become a sheriff’s deputy with any one of Indiana’s many county sheriff’s offices.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office

The law enforcement branch of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was merged with the Indianapolis Police Department in 2007. Today, the Sheriff’s Office consists of 428 sworn deputies and 327 civilian personnel and is divided into seven divisions: Jail, Criminal, Judicial Enforcement, Administrative, Reserve, Communications, and Homeland Security.

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Candidates here must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Allen County Sheriff’s Department

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department consists of more than 350 employees, 125 of whom are sworn police officers. Deputy sheriffs here work out of a number of specialized units that are designed to help fulfill the mission of keeping the citizens of Allen County safe.

Deputy sheriff candidates must have a high school diploma or GED.

Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is home to more than 270 sworn deputies and three divisions: Administration, Confinement, and Operations.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and either 60 college credit hours, two years of work experience, or military experience.

Municipal Police Departments in Indiana

Many jobs in law enforcement through Indiana police departments come with exciting opportunities to work in specialized units like K-9, bomb squad, and search and rescue.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

With 1,700 sworn officers, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest employers of police officers in Indiana. Merged with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department’s law enforcement division, officers in the Indianapolis PD provide coverage for the entire county. Officers work in six districts in a variety of special units throughout the region. Education requirements include a GED or high school diploma.

Fort Wayne Police Department

The 460 sworn officers of the Fort Wayne Police Department are called to serve the more than 251,000 citizens of Fort Wayne. Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or GED, and additional schooling is preferred.

Evansville Police Department

The Evansville Police Department is home to 286 sworn officers and three divisions: Administrative Division, Patrol Division, and Criminal Investigation Division. In addition to uniformed patrol, the Patrol Division consists of specialized teams like K-9, traffic enforcement, bomb squad, crisis negotiation, and more.

Police officer candidates with the Evansville Police Department must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and at least one of the following: 30 semester hours of post-secondary education with a 2.0 GPA or better or two years of military service.

South Bend Police Department

A career as a police officer with the South Bend Police Department begins with a successful application. Candidates must provide a high school diploma or GED upon application and complete a variety of tests and exams.

Hammond Police Department

The 211 officers of the Hammond Police Department are committed to providing the citizens of Hammond with a safe place to live and work. Candidates must have either a high school diploma or GED.

Indiana Law Enforcement Salaries

The annual, median salary for law enforcement professionals in Indiana, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $54,570, with the top 10% earning an average of $76,780.

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The following salary data, compiled from the respective law enforcement agencies, provide starting wages for officers, along with additional salary increases that often come with experience.

Police Officer Salaries

Salary incentives are commonplace for police officers in Indiana. Just a few of the perks offered by many of Indiana’s municipal police departments include shift incentives, education incentives, and yearly salary increases.

  • Bloomington Police Department

The starting salary for a Bloomington police officer is $66,969.

  • Evansville Police Department

The starting salary for probationary police officers with the Evansville Police Department is $49,320, with an increase to $52,730 in the second year. Police officers here get annual salary increases.

Officers with an associate’s degree earn an additional $520 per year; those with bachelor’s degrees earn an additional $1,040 per year; and those with master’s degrees earn an additional $1,560 per year.

  • Fort Wayne Police Department

Officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department earn a salary of $50,175 during their first year, and $55,749 during their second year.

Additional salary increases include longevity and education bonuses and shift bonuses (2nd shift: $3,300 and 3rd shift: $6,300).

  • Indianapolis Police Department

First-year officers with the Indianapolis Police Department earn $51,000. Second-year officers earn $59,500, while third-year officers earn $70,139.

  • South Bend Police Department

The South Bend Police Department pays its police officer recruits $48,096 during academy training. Then, upon graduation, these law enforcement professionals earn $53,060 during their first year. Second-year officers earn an other salary increase to $59,158. Additional shift incentives are available.

Sheriff’s Deputy Salaries

While starting salaries for sheriff’s deputies in Indiana tend to hover in the low $40,000s, a nice variety of promotional opportunities allows these law enforcement professionals to earn considerably more.

  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office

The average, starting salary for sheriff’s deputies in Lake County is $41,000.

  • Marion County Sheriff’s Office

The minimum salary for sheriff’s deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office is $32,735. The midpoint for these professionals is $42,930, and the maximum salary is $53,125.

Additional salary increases may be achieved with promotion to Deputy II ($34,699-$58,559), Deputy III ($36,059-$62,604), and Deputy Master ($38,222-$66,900).

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

State troopers with the Indiana State Police earn a starting salary of $38,760 during academy training. At the successful conclusion of academy training, a trooper’s salary increases to $48,000 as a probationary trooper.

After the conclusion of the probationary period, troopers earn a salary of between $52,000-$74,500. Additional salary increases may be the result of promotion to corporal ($56,974-$77,885), sergeant ($59,560-$81,419), first sergeant ($62,264-$85,117), lieutenant ($65,090-$88,978), captain, major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel.


Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 –

BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Agency-level salary and employment data was sourced directly from the municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies named and reflects the specific salary ranges and seniority- or rank-based pay described by the respective agency.

All salary and employment data accessed in August 2019.

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