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Law Enforcement Careers in Rhode Island

Although small in size, Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the US.  This provides opportunities for those who seek law enforcement jobs in Rhode Island.  Potential jobs can be found as State Police Troopers, county Deputy Sheriffs, or municipal Police Officers in Pennsylvania.

Jobs with the Rhode Island State Police

The Rhode Island State Police Force was established in 1925.  It has a tradition of excellence and was awarded “Accreditation with Excellence” by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2011.

In addition to improving the safety of drivers on the more than 5000 miles of roads in the state, the Rhode Island State Police Force is involved in an array of crime-fighting activities.  In addition to its Major Crimes/Organized Crimes Unit, it has specialized Units for Financial Crime and Computer Crimes.

Part of the challenge of being a state Trooper in Rhode Island is fighting the importation of drugs into the state.  Route 95 is a major smuggling route for drugs on the Eastern part of the US and links Rhode Island with New York City and Boston.  In one operation alone, $4.5 million worth of heroin was seized in Rhode Island in November 2012.

Those wish to obtain jobs as State Troopers in Rhode Island must be 18-35 years old and be either a high school graduate or have earned a GED.  Applicants must pass a written examination and a physical fitness test in order to be considered for enrollment into the 22 week long recruit training program.  Read more information on how to become a Rhode Island State Patrol Officer.

Jobs with Sheriff’s Departments in Rhode Island

Rhode Island residents who wish to obtain jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies must be accepted into the Rhode Island Sheriffs Academy.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, or GED, and have one additional requirement such as having an associate degree, two years of active or four years of reserve duty, or having been employed for two or more years at a full-time job maintaining law and order. 


Successful applicants will undergo 30 days of training.  Read more information on how to become a Sheriff’s Deputy in Rhode Island.

Jobs with Municipal Police Departments in Rhode Island

Residents of the state who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in Rhode Island have a number of options with municipal police departments throughout the state.

Cranston:  Cranston has a relatively low crime rate for a city of its size.  Police Officers of the Cranston Police Department practice Community Policing to help keep its citizens safe.  Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in Cranston will undergo both written and physical agility testing.

Pawtucket:  The rate for both property and violent crimes is higher than average in Pawtucket.  To combat this, the Pawtucket Police Department works with the community to help prevent crime.  Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in Pawtucket must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.  They must have either 30 college credits or a year of active military service.  Applicants will have to pass physical fitness and written exams.

Providence:  The second largest populated area in New England, Providence has a high rate of crime.  To combat this, Providence has the services of one of the oldest police departments in the country.  Those who wish to find jobs as Police Officers in Providence must be at least 21 years old when they graduate from the Training Academy.  Applicants must also have a high school diploma or a GED.  To be considered for training as a Police Officer in Providence, applicants must pass written, physical, and medical examinations, along with a background check and a psychological evaluation.

Warwick:  The crime rate in Warwick is relatively low for the city’s size.  One of the reasons for this is the high level of community involvement of the roughly 163 members of the Warwick Police Department.  Applicants who wish to find jobs as Police Officers in Warwick must take written and physical exams.  Those who make it through the screening process will be placed on a hiring list and become eligible for positions as they become available.

Rhode Island Law Enforcement Salaries

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, details in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, these median Rhode Island law enforcement salaries in 2010:

  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $53,710
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $69,260
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $68,080

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Rhode Island

Area name
Annual mean wage
Norwich-New London CT-RI
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Rhode Island

Police officers working for the East Providence Police Department receive a starting annual salary of $45,464. After 36 months of service to the department, their salary is increased to $54,312. Likewise, the Pawtucket Police Department offers patrolmen an annual wage of $51,152.64 after 6 months of service.

In Rhode Island, there are no local county sheriffs but rather the Rhode Island State Sheriff’s Department performs this role as a statewide law enforcement agency.  According to the State of Rhode Island, Division of Sheriffs, recruits are not paid a salary during the 6-week training course. However, the starting salary for a deputy sheriff in Rhode Island upon graduation and completion of training is $40,372. Salary increases are given in 15 increments spanning a 25-year period capping out at $56,381.

Salaries for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Rhode Island

Area name
Annual mean wage
Norwich-New London CT-RI
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA

State Trooper Salary in Rhode Island

According to the Rhode Island State Police, state troopers receive a bi-weekly salary of $1,300 during their 22-week training period. After graduating from the academy, troopers are given an annual salary of $50,799 with increases given in 5 increments over a 4-year period of time topping out at $61,935.

Salaries for Police Supervisors and Detectives in Rhode Island

Area name
Annual mean wage
Norwich-New London CT-RI
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA

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