How to become a police officer in Florida - 6 steps - PalAmerican Security (2023)

Starting a career as a law enforcement officer in the Sunshine State comes with many benefits: flexible schedules, expense account, generous medical, dental and vision insurance, excellent retirement plans, paid sick leave, holiday bonus,and more.

This article provides a detailed overview of the steps required to become a police officer or law enforcement officer for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

How to Become a Police Officer in Florida

  1. They meet the minimum requirements
  2. Complete the required views
  3. Complete the required training
  4. Pass the state state exam
  5. Find a job with a criminal justice agency in Florida
  6. Ask Commission staff to review your employment records

1. You meet the minimum requirements

Before a candidate can apply for a law enforcement officer position in Florida, he or she must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Age:Must be over 19 years old.
  • Nationality:Must be a US citizen.
  • Education: Must be a high school graduate with a high school diploma. A bachelor's degree in a related field such as criminal justice is welcome but not required.
  • Valid Florida driver's license: All applicants must hold a valid Florida state driver's license. You must not have repeated driving offenses as this may reduce your chances and will be revealed during background checks or background checks.
  • Request a statement:Applicants must complete a Candidate certification formand submit it to the recruiting Criminal Justice Employment Service.

2. Complete the required views

  • Check their past:Every applicant must pass a background check to be considered a law enforcement officer in Florida. Verification will be carried out by the applicant's criminal justice employment services to determine whether they are of good moral character and amake good ethical decisions. Background checks include things like credit history, work history, driving history, criminal history, rental history, and home ownership. Applicants must have a clean criminal record, which means no felony charges, a misdemeanor involving violent and aggressive charges or charges of perjury or making false statements on a criminal record.
  • drug test: Applicants must pass a drug test before being hired by the agency. A history of drug use does not necessarily mean that an applicant will not be hired as a law enforcement officer, but they must be drug free to be hired by a recruiting or law enforcement agency.
  • Polygraph test: Candidates must pass a polygraph test for psychological evaluation and to determine if they have good moral character. Candidates are asked to answer a series of questions before the test and then ask the same questions again when connected to a polygraph.
  • fingerprints: Applicants must be fingerprinted by their employment office and processed by the FDLE and FBI.
  • Medical examination: A physical examination must be performed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, or licensed nurse to assess the applicant's physical health. Applicants must prove that they are in good physical condition to be considered for a career in the police force.
  • Fitness test:Candidates undergo a fitness assessment to measure things such as push-ups, sit-ups, and running to see if they are physically fit to handle the demands of the job.
  • Check basic skills: Applicants must pass the Basic Aptitude Test (BAT), also known as the Criminal Justice Basic Skills Test (CJBAT). BAT assesses comprehension and writing skills, memory, problem propensity, inductive and deductive reasoning, and more. The test consists of 97 multiple-choice questions and must be passed in the state of Florida. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the exam and must score 70+ on all three parts of the test. A candidate's test score is valid for four years from the date of their test. there is one$39 billfor appearing in the exam, and candidates are given three attempts at a timeperiod of 12 monthspass the exam.

3. Complete the required training

Candidates must have theKey Recruit Training Programthrough the Commission on Criminal Justice Training and Standards certified training school to become a law enforcement officer in Florida.

This program is designed to help experienced law enforcement officers prepare for their role in the field. It teaches practical skills and performs simulated activities that complement the lessons learned in the classroom. The curriculum includes studies such as legal concepts, patrolling skills, arrest procedures, disturbance response, vehicular incident resolution, traffic management, crime scene and courtroom procedures, explosives, first aid, and more.

The Basic Recruit training program is a live-only course and cannot be taken online.Candidates may be discharged from this training program if they have served as sworn law enforcement officers in another state for at least one year or as a special operations officer in the armed forces for at least five years without disgraceful discharge.

4. Pass the state exam for officer rank

Before police officers are sworn in, they must pass a state certification exam (SOCE). The state certification exam consists of 200 questions and candidates must score 80%.

There is a $100 fee for downloading SOCE. If a candidate fails three times, he or she must re-enroll and complete the Basic Recruit training program again before retaking the State Officer Certification Exam.

5. Find a job with a criminal justice agency in Florida

This is a requirement for Florida police applicants after completing training and exams. However, in some cases, applicants may apply for a Criminal Justice Temporary Work Permit before completing the Basic Recruitment Training Program or before taking the Public Servant Examination. This is at the discretion of the employment agency. Hiring a temporary worker can help you meet the minimum requirements faster because the agency will conduct background checks (including drug tests) during the hiring process.

Once the applicant has met all minimum requirements, completed all training and passed all examinations, the employment service will submit an applicationEmployee certificate application formon behalf of the official to the Commission.

6. Ask the Commission staff to review your employment file

Once the Committee receives the application along with the candidate's employment record, the Committee staff will review all documents to ensure that the candidate meets all requirements.

How long does it take to become a police officer in Florida?

Together,becoming a police officer in Florida can take nine months or more. Basic recruit training takes five to six months depending on the training academy and can take three months or more to complete all forms, pass all checks, study and write exams, and allow the Commission to review and accept your application.

Are you making money at the Florida police academy?

Most students are not paid at the police academy. However, some applicants may be compensated if they were temporarily recruited by a criminal justice agency before completing their academic program or awarding a scholarship.

Prepare for a career as a law enforcement officer in Florida

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How to become a certified police officer in the state of Florida? ›

Have the employment file reviewed by Commission staff to ensure compliance.
  1. Meet the Minimum Qualifications established in s. ...
  2. Complete the Required Training or be Exempt Pursuant to S. ...
  3. Pass the State Officer Certification Examination. ...
  4. Gain Employment with a Criminal Justice Employing Agency as an Officer.

How long does it take to become a police officer in Florida? ›

The Basic Recruitment Training takes five to six months depending on the training academy, and it can take three months or more to fill out all the forms, go through all the screening, study for and write exams, as well as allow the Commission to review and accept an application.

Do you get paid while in the police academy in Florida? ›

Not only will you be sponsored, we will pay for the academy and you will also receive your full starting salary while attending the Police Academy.

How much does the police academy cost in Florida? ›

Estimated Cost of Academy
Tuition: (Florida Resident)$1,971.20
Lab Fees$578.80
Total Approximate Cost for Florida Resident$3,064.00
Total Approximate Cost for Non-Florida Resident$8985.30
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How long does police academy last in Florida? ›

The Full-Time Basic Law Enforcement Academy runs for approximately 6 months, Monday -Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Class hours do change during the training to achieve certain objectives. Vehicle Operations and Firearms training is scheduled between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

What disqualifies you from the police academy in Florida? ›

Be a high school graduate or equivalent. Not have been convicted of any felony. Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement. Not have a dishonorable discharge from any of the armed forces of the United States.

What is the highest paid police salary in Florida? ›


How much do police officers get paid in Florida? ›

The average salary for a police officer in Florida is $62,000 per year. Police officer salaries in Florida can vary between $33,000 to $122,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

How much do new police officers make in Florida? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Florida
Years of experiencePer year
Less than 1 year$47,096
1 to 2 years$46,507
3 to 5 years$52,589
6 to 9 years-
1 more row

Do police officers live at the academy? ›

At some police academies you will live on the academy grounds during the week for the duration of your training, while with others you can live at home and attend classes for eight hours a day or during the evening.

What are the physical requirements for the police academy in Florida? ›

1.5 Mile Run: Complete a 1.5 mile run in 18:00 minutes or less. Push-ups: Men - complete at least 15 push-ups in one minute. Women - complete at least 10 push-ups in one minute. Sit-ups: Men - complete at least 25 sit-ups in one minute.

Is the police academy hard in Florida? ›

The police academy Florida requirements are not demanding, and they require the candidates who have completed their education and possess a good moral character. Sound physical health and clean background are also essential requirements of the Florida police academy.

Which state has the hardest police academy? ›

  • Toughest Police academies in the US.
  • Police Training Academy of Virginia.
  • Police Training Academy of New Jersey.
  • Police Training Academy Of Massachusetts.
  • Police Training Academy Of Maryland.
  • Best Trained Departments Of US Police.
  • Hardest Training Academy In California.
Feb 4, 2020

How much does it cost to train a police officer? ›

Police training in the U.S. (from initial recruitment to certification) costs the average department approximately $100,000 per officer.

How many credits is a Florida Police Academy? ›

Students who successfully complete a Florida state-certified Police Academy are eligible to receive 15 college credits from Broward College.

How many weeks is the police academy in Florida? ›

Police Academy

The Law Enforcement Academy, Basic Recruit Training program is a 22-week (770 hours) program that provides training to prepare a student for the physical and mental demands of a career as a Florida police officer or deputy sheriff.

How long is state trooper academy in Florida? ›

Since the first class began in 1939, The Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy has had a long-standing tradition of transforming men and women into the State Troopers you see patrolling Florida's roadways. For 28 weeks, recruits undergo an intensive training regimen designed to be both mentally and physically tough.

Can Florida police have tattoos? ›

While on duty, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) member will not display any visible tattoos. Such visible tattoos will be covered by the member's uniform or clothing, a bandage or similar covering, or cosmetics.

Does Florida require polygraph for police? ›

A tool for making this inquiry is a questionnaire requiring the applicant's sworn signature. The use of a polygraph examination should be considered, although is not required.

What drugs disqualify you from being a police officer in Florida? ›

Other than Marijuana and Adderall, any past illegal use of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, as defined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, used in an illicit or recreational manner will result in an automatic, permanent disqualification (Controlled substance includes, but is not limited to, cocaine, crack cocaine, ...

What city pays cops the most? ›

The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the patrol officer profession are San Jose, San Francisco, Napa, Vallejo, and Santa Rosa.
  • San Jose, California. $125,960.
  • San Francisco, California. $118,450.
  • Napa, California. $116,010.
  • Vallejo, California. $115,800.
  • Santa Rosa, California. $106,050.

What police position pays the most? ›

What is the highest paying job in law enforcement? The Chief of Police is the top position in civilian law enforcement. The Chief of Police has the highest paying job in law enforcement for the civilian sector, making between $96,000 and $160,000 a year (In Salary).

Which police agency pays the most? ›

New York City has the highest-paid police officers in the country.

How much does a FBI make in Florida? ›

How much does a Fbi Agent make in Florida? As of May 13, 2023, the average annual pay for the Fbi Agent jobs category in Florida is $54,415 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $26.16 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,046/week or $4,534/month.

What is the highest paying job? ›

Highest-Paying Occupations
Chief Executives$189,520309.20%
Computer and Information Systems Managers$164,070254.30%
Architectural and Engineering Managers$159,920245.30%
17 more rows

How much does a police deputy get paid in Florida? ›

Get accurate pay by adjusting the below factors. How much does a Deputy Sheriff make in Florida? The average Deputy Sheriff salary in Florida is $110,750 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $104,570 and $117,470.

How much does SWAT make in Florida? ›

How much does a Swat make in Florida? As of May 24, 2023, the average annual pay for the Swat jobs category in Florida is $52,649 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $25.31 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,012/week or $4,387/month.

Do all cops have partners? ›

Smaller departments will have “solo” patrols but they will have usually a “zone partner” another officer that works the same area. Incidentally detectives may have partners (another detective) but smaller departments may pair up on something with an available detective that may not always be the same. Hope this helps!

How long is LAPD Academy? ›

If you are selected for the LAPD, you will be sent to the world famous LAPD Academy for six months of training. Training is rigorous, demanding and exhausting. It is also a rewarding life-changing experience.

How many pushups does it take to pass the police test? ›

Push-ups: Increasing Body Strength

The NYPD physical test requires the male and female candidates to perform 30 and 18 push-ups, respectively, on average.

How many push-ups do you have to do to be a police officer? ›

Push-ups are another part of the police fitness test. The HPD test requires 25 continuous pushups.

What is the swim test for Florida police? ›

The Florida police academy requires a swim test. You must swim for 50 yards within 2 minutes, holding your head above water. You can use any type of swimming stroke except the backstroke. You are allowed to repeat the test until you pass.

Do you sleep at the police academy Florida? ›

The Academy is a live-in training facility. All recruits will stay on academy grounds during the work-week. They will usually have the weekends off. Evenings at the academy give the recruit quiet time to study and prepare for upcoming training.

What is COP certification? ›

A certificate of participation (COP) allows investors to participate in a pro-rata share of a. lease-financing agreement. • As opposed to bond participation, COPs pay investors via lease revenues as opposed to. bond interest.

What is a non certified police officer in Florida? ›

The Non-Certified Police Officer position is designed for candidates who meet the Davie Police Department's education requirement but do not possess the required certification from Florida to automatically qualify as a Certified Police Officer.

What is COP in basic training? ›

A Certificate of Proficiency or COP means a certificate, other than a certificate of competency, issued to a seafarer under the authority of the Administration. This certificate states that the relevant requirements of training competencies or seagoing service under the STCW Convention have been met.

What is COP means in basic training? ›

Photocopy of Certificate of Proficiency (COP) on Basic Safety Training/Basic Training.

What does cop stand for? ›

informal. : police officer. They called the cops to report a robbery.

Which police department pays the most in Florida? ›

Highest paying cities for Police Officers near Florida
  • Margate, FL. $70,613 per year. 6 salaries reported.
  • Orlando, FL. $55,704 per year. 10 salaries reported.
  • Miami, FL. $54,053 per year. 12 salaries reported.
  • Sarasota, FL. $48,422 per year. 29 salaries reported.
  • Ocoee, FL. $46,232 per year. ...
  • Show more nearby cities.

What police job has the best salary? ›

Highest-paying police jobs
  1. Security officer. National average salary: $13.11 per hour. ...
  2. Security guard. National average salary: $13.29 per hour. ...
  3. Patrol officer. National average salary: $14.41 per hour. ...
  4. Legal assistant. National average salary: $16.23 per hour. ...
  5. Correctional officer. ...
  6. Crime scene technician. ...
  7. Detective. ...
  8. Paralegal.
Feb 3, 2023


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