Denver Police Department Officer Requirements
The Denver Police Department is the largest municipal police force in Colorado; over 1,440 sworn officers work for the Denver PD, protecting and serving the citizens of the Mile-High City.1 The department works with the community to prevent crime efficiently and effectively and has a history of being an early adopter of advanced policing technologies, such as body-worn cameras and real-time crime reporting applications.
Steps to Becoming a Denver PD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an online application and self-assessment.
- Take a written and video test and submit a background history packet.
- Complete language skills and written suitability tests.
- Pass the polygraph examination.
- Attend an interview with a psychologist for psychological screening.
- Pass the physical agility test.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Attend at least one formal interview with representatives from the police department.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Complete fingerprinting, a drug screen, and a medical exam.
- Complete a second psychological exam.
- Attend police academy training.
- Complete field training as a probationary officer.
- Begin working as a Denver police officer.
How to Become a Denver, Colorado Police Officer
The Denver Police Department requires all prospective police recruits to complete an extensive evaluation process. Applicants start the process by completing an online application and scheduling a date to take a written exam. Eligible candidates who successfully pass the written exam then move on to complete the next step of the process, which is taking the FrontLine National Video-Based Human Relations and Judgment Test. This unique video-based exam shows applicants video segments, after which the candidate chooses the best course of action from a multiple-choice list. Candidates who are still in the selection process at this time will move on to complete polygraph, psychological, and physical exams. Applicants will also undergo drug screenings, an extensive background investigation, and at least one formal interview.
Candidates who are offered conditional employment as recruits then complete 26 weeks of police academy training followed by approximately four months of field experience and training under the supervision of an experienced officer. Newly sworn police officers generally start their careers in patrol unit assignments.
Denver Police Officer Job Description
Denver police officers swear to uphold the law and to protect citizens and property. Police officers have a wide range of responsibilities while on duty, including investigating criminal activity, answering police calls, responding to and investigating traffic accidents, detaining and arresting those suspected of breaking the law, and recovering stolen property. Patrol officers with the Denver PD are generally assigned a specific area to patrol and are expected to become familiar with the characteristics of that area and build relationships with the local community.
Denver Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
Applicants must meet minimum eligibility criteria to be considered for a position with the Denver Police Department. Minimum qualifications include being at least 21 years of age with United States citizenship and Colorado residency, possessing a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license, and demonstrating strong moral character. Immediate disqualification occurs if an applicant has felony convictions or has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving sexual assault, cruelty to animals, perjury, theft, fraud, assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest, child abuse, or child neglect. Applicants with more than one misdemeanor within five years of applying will also be immediately disqualified.
Recruited officers will complete 26 weeks of police academy training followed by four months of field training. The Denver Police Academy training program includes intense academic and physical instruction to thoroughly prepare recruits for in-the-field police work. After gaining experience in patrol, officers may have the opportunity to apply to work in specialized law enforcement units like SWAT or homicide.
Denver Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Police officers in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area earn an average annual salary of $71,740.2 The entry-level salary for new police officers is $55,299 per year, with step increases for each consecutive year of employment.1 The Denver Police Department provides officers with a full range of benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, vacation and sick pay, and holiday pay. As of May 2015, an estimated 4,280 police officers were employed in the greater Denver metro area.2
Denver Police Department
1331 Cherokee St
Denver, CO 80202
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is the Denver Police Department hiring?
Answer: The Denver Police Department only accepts applications during open hiring periods, which are announced on the department’s recruiting website. Interested parties begin the process by filling out an application and scheduling an appointment for testing.
Question: What types of Denver Police Department jobs are available?
Answer: New police officers are usually placed in a patrol unit and work four 10-hour shifts followed by three days off. Those who perform well in this assignment may apply for promotion to supervisory ranks or transfer to specialized units after three years of service. These specialized units include robbery, domestic violence, vice/ narcotics, and homicide.
Question: What are Denver Police Department salaries typically like?
Answer: Newly sworn officers earn $55,299 per year at the rank of police officer, 4th grade.1 An officer’s grade is increased, along with his or her salary, for each of the next three years. After four years of service and attaining the rank of police officer, 1st grade, an officer can expect a base salary of $82,432 per year.1 Those who pass the sergeant’s exam and qualify for promotion to that rank earn a base salary of $98,556 per year.1
1. Denver Police Department: https://www.denverpolicerecruit.com/
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19740.htm#00-0000