How to Become a Local Police Officer in Kentucky

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Few jobs provide the rewards you'll receive from working as a police officer. In addition to serving the public, you have a golden opportunity to make the world a better place. You can help to curb crime and show criminals a better path. Landing a job as a police offer, though, requires some forethought. In Kentucky, your chances of landing a job as a local police officer soar when you follow a few key steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone
  • Pen
  • Computer

Prepare Yourself

  • Earn certification from a police academy or graduate from a two-year college. Local police departments favor applicants with college education or certification, and some require it. In-state academies must be certified or approved by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.

  • Prepare yourself for physical fitness testing by following a basic exercise program.

  • Check your compliance with minimum standards. The Kentucky Peace Officer Professional Standards Act, or POPS, features 16 standards, including physical fitness, education and age requirements, which you must meet. Specifically, police officers in Kentucky must be 21 years of age, and they must be able to bench press 64 percent of their body weight, complete 18 sit-ups within one minute, finish a 300-meter run in 65 seconds, perform 20 push-ups and run 1.5 miles in less than 18 minutes.

Apply for Jobs

  • Search for job openings via online job sites, newspaper ads and by calling local police departments to ask if they have openings.

  • Check requirements for each job opening as listed in job ads. For example, some cities require residency.

  • Make a list of the jobs for which you meet all requirements.

  • Obtain an application by contacting the department's human resources department or by following the steps outlined in the job ad.

  • Apply for jobs that interest you and for which you meet minimum requirements. Meet the deadlines for applying.

After Applying

  • Follow up by contacting departments to check on the status of your application. Be cordial.

  • Set up job interviews with departments that show interest in hiring you.

  • Submit to pre-employment testing and a background investigation. For example, the city of Bowling Green requires a polygraph test, a psychological test, a physical fitness test, a written test to gauge reading comprehension and reasoning skills and a drug test.

  • Accept any job offers that meet your approval.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prepare for job interviews by anticipating possible questions and thinking about how you might answer them.
  • If you have a felony arrest, you do not qualify for a police job in Kentucky. You must be a U.S. citizen for employment as a police officer in Kentucky.

References

  • Photo Credit Ben Schumin: Wikimedia.org
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