Indianapolis Police Department Officer Requirements
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3,170 police officers work in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.1 The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) patrols, services, and protects the people and property within the city boundaries of Indianapolis. The department is divided into three divisions: Investigations, Administration and Technology, and Operations. The department supports community safety programs such as National Night Out, Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, and the youth-oriented “OK Program.”
Steps to Becoming an IMPD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Submit a preliminary application.
- Pass a written examination.
- Attend an oral interview.
- Pass the physical agility test.
- Take a polygraph.
- Pass the background check.
- Complete medical and psychological exams.
- Pass a drug screen.
- Be approved by the police board and complete the IMPD Law Enforcement Training Academy.
- Complete field training as a probationary officer.
- Begin working as a fully-fledged Indianapolis police officer.
How to Become an Indianapolis, Indiana Police Officer
In order to become an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, a successful applicant must meet the eligibility requirements described below. The screening process requires that each candidate complete a preliminary application and pass a written exam, an oral interview, a physical agility test, a polygraph exam, a background investigation, and medical and psychological exams. Accepted recruits must attend and graduate from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Training Academy. Following graduation from the academy, recruits are placed in the department's field training program as probationary officers. Those who perform well throughout the process will become tenured officers.
Indianapolis Police Officer Job Description
Indianapolis police officers are entrusted with protecting the people and property within the Indianapolis metro. They enforce laws, fight crime, protect citizens, and provide assistance during emergencies. They may serve as patrol officers, traffic officers, or members of specialized units such as the SWAT Team or the Mounted Patrol, Canine, or Aviation Sections.
Indianapolis Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
An applicant to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department must be a US resident between the ages of 21 and 35 with a valid driver's license and a high school diploma or GED. Candidates also must be a resident of Marion County or one of the seven neighboring counties. The applicant cannot have any felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving domestic violence.
Accepted recruits must complete the IMPD Law Enforcement Training Academy, which includes 24 weeks of intensive physical and academic preparation for police work. Recruits study topics relating to criminal justice, human behavior, law, criminal investigation, the use of force, and other police skills. Courses are generally held Monday through Friday during the day, though some training during evenings and weekends is required. Graduates are placed in the department's Field Training Program, which includes real-life, field-based experience alongside a training officer. Recruits who successfully perform their duties during field training will become sworn officers.
Indianapolis Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Probationary police officers in Indianapolis earn a yearly salary of $39,446, beginning when they start the police academy.2 Second-year patrol officers earn $47,651 per year, with a further increase to a yearly base salary of $65,452 in the third year.2 Up to $1,000 per year in college incentive pay is available for officers who hold a bachelor's degree earned from a regionally accredited college. Officers also receive overtime pay, vacation and sick leave, and health insurance benefits, as well as take-home car privileges. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for Indianapolis police officers was $53,620 as of 2015.2
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
50 N Alabama St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What types of police jobs in Indianapolis are there besides patrol officers?
Answer: Though most officers with the IMPD start out in patrol, there are numerous opportunities for advancement for career officers. Specialized units in the IMPD include Arson Investigation, Domestic Preparedness/ Emergency Operations, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Mounted Patrol, and the SWAT Team.
Question: What education do I need to become an Indianapolis police officer?
Answer: The base educational requirement for sworn officers with the IMPD is a high school diploma or GED, but a college degree in criminal justice can provide more opportunities for advancement. The department offers up to $1,000 per year in college incentive pay for those with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college, and up to $1,250 per year for those with a master's degree.2
Question: What is the average IMPD salary?
Answer: On average, Indianapolis area police officers earned $53,620 per year in 2015.1
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Indianapolis: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26900.htm
2. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/Employment/Sworn/Pages/benefits.aspx