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Law Enforcement Careers in Nevada

Nevada police jobs can be found at the state, county, and city levels of government. The Department of Public Safety is the law enforcement employer at the state-level in Nevada. Sheriff’s departments support law enforcement jobs at the county levels, while municipal police departments hire officers to police Nevada’s major cities.

Jobs and Training with the Nevada Department of Public Safety

Nevada Highway Patrol: The Nevada Highway Patrol’s goal is to keep the highways and interstates safe and freely flowing, responding in a timely fashion when needed to provide assistance to vehicle accidents or support local law enforcement agencies. In 2012 the NHP reported a total of 17,370 crashes throughout the state, 92 of which involved fatalities. Today there are 156 commissioned troopers headquartered in Carson City, with additional offices in Las Vegas, Elko, and Reno.

Nevada Investigation Division: The Nevada Investigation Division conducts investigations into controlled substances, criminal activities, missing persons, domestic violence, and unidentified bodies. The NID also serves as a liaison between the state and the Department of Homeland Security and INTERPOL.

Nevada Department of Public Safety job candidates must either have two years of military experience with two years of professional work experience, a two-year associate’s degree and one year of professional work experience, or a bachelor’s degree.

Sheriff’s Department Law Enforcement Jobs in Nevada

Clark County: The Clark County Sheriff’s Department functions primarily as an arm of the Department of Justice, aiding in the processes involved with civil and criminal court proceedings, such as serving court orders, summons, subpoenas, warrants, and affidavits. Sheriff’s deputy job applicants must have a minimum of three years full time military or civilian law enforcement experience.


Washoe County: This Sheriff’s Department is the law enforcement agency for the unincorporated areas in Washoe County. It additionally operates a detention facility with an average daily inmate population of 1,000. 420 commissioned deputies make up the sheriff’s force that has an $83.2 million annual budget, including grants totaling $16.9 million. Applicants for the sheriff’s deputy position must pass written and physical tests with acceptable results as according to the Nevada Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) organization.

Elko County: The Elko County Sheriff’s Department was established in 1869 and is today responsible for patrols, a correctional facility, civil processes such as concealed weapons permits, and judicial matters. In 2008 the sheriff’s department began participation in a Homeland Security information sharing initiative that has since seen tremendous results.

Municipal Police Jobs in Nevada

Las Vegas: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) is by far the largest police department in the state of Nevada, with 1,200 employees in 2011. In that same year there were over 700 gun assaults, 86 homicides, 12,662 cases of burglary, and 6,787 auto thefts. The jurisdictional area of the LVMPD is over 7,500 square miles with an accompanying population of 1.96 million, not including the almost 40 million tourists that come each year. Though not required, candidates with the following will be preferred for hire: some post-high school education, previous experience in law enforcement, three or more years in public contract employment, and knowledge of the Spanish language.

Henderson: Henderson Police Department officers responded to four murders, 3,142 cases of theft, and 58 forcible rapes in 2011, arresting over 10,000 people in total. The police department spent nearly $80 million on operational costs, and nearly $13 million on detention costs. To join the force, applicants must not have any felony or domestic violence convictions.

North Las Vegas: The North Las Vegas Police Department has divisions for animal control, community services, detention, training, traffic, records, and investigations. Prospective employees must complete the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Certification process.

Reno: The Reno Police Department participates in several community partnerships with the aim of forging stronger ties between citizens and the people who enforce the laws. Some of these community programs are neighborhood watches, a citizen’s police academy, a ride-along program, and an explorer program that encourages youth ages 15-20 to make a positive difference in their communities. Job candidates must meet the minimum requirements as laid out by the Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training.

Sparks: The Sparks Police Department is made up of 109 sworn officers who are backed up by an additional 43 civilians and over 50 citizen volunteers. Officer candidates must be trustworthy and not have recently used illegal drugs.

Nevada Law Enforcement Salaries

As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, in 2010, these were the median Nevada law enforcement salaries:

  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $96,860
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $73,410
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $65,740

Detectives and Criminal Investigators Salaries throughout Nevada

Area name
Annual mean wage
Las Vegas-Paradise NV
Reno-Sparks NV
Western Central Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Other Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Nevada

The Nevada police officer salary often varies within the different cities throughout the state. Police Recruits at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are compensated with an annual salary of $48,505.60. After academy training is complete, an automatic promotion to Police Officer I is given, and the salary is increased to $50,460.80. After an 18-month probationary period, an automatic promotion to Police Officer II is given, and thus, the salary increases again to $55,619.20.

Law enforcement salaries at the county level, such as in Clark County, Nevada, include:

  • Deputy Sheriff I: $44,928 to $69,638.40
  • Deputy Sheriff II: $48,464.04 to $75,150.36
  • Investigator I – District Attorney: $49,067.16 to $76,023.96
  • Investigator I – Public Defender: $41,412.84 to $64,126.44
  • Special Investigator – District Attorney: $57,200.04 to $88,670.40
  • Special Investigator – Public Defender: $48,276.84 to $74,817.60

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Salaries throughout Nevada

Area name
Annual mean wage
Western Central Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Other Nevada nonmetropolitan area

State Trooper Salary in Nevada

The Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol, states that the state trooper salary in Nevada for cadets (DPS Officer I) begins at $47,606, which includes training time. Lateral candidates (DPS Officer II) start out at $54,204 and may possibly receive an accelerated salary up to 20% depending on experience level.

Police Supervisors and Detectives Salaries throughout Nevada

Area name
Annual mean wage
Western Central Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Other Nevada nonmetropolitan area

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