Memphis Police Department Officer Requirements

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) works to provide a safe environment for citizens and visitors in the city of Memphis. The department's focus on crime prevention and community involvement is supported by such initiatives as the Community Outreach Program (COP), the Clergy Police Academy, and the Citizen's Police Academy. Across all ranks, approximately 2,400 sworn officers work for the MPD.1

Steps to Becoming an MPD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Complete a preliminary application.
  3. Pass the physical abilities test.
  4. Pass the work-related values written test and the reading comprehension test.
  5. Submit a formal application, in person, to the MPD.
  6. Pass the background screening.
  7. Pass the medical exam and psychological assessment.
  8. Attend a human resources orientation.
  9. Complete police academy training.
  10. Complete one year of field training as a probationary officer.
  11. Begin working as a fully-qualified sworn officer with the MPD.

How to Become a Memphis, Tennessee Police Officer

Candidates interested in becoming a police officer with the Memphis Police Department must complete a rigorous hiring process. Candidates must first fill out a preliminary application. The next step is to complete two written exams measuring the candidate's values and reading comprehension, as well as a physical abilities test that simulates conditions in the field. Individuals who pass these tests must then complete a formal application, which must be submitted in person at MPD headquarters. Next, prospective recruits complete a background check, psychological evaluation, and medical exam. Successful applicants will be recruited to complete police academy training, which is followed by a one-year probationary period consisting of field training and field work under the supervision of experienced officers.

Memphis Police Officer Job Description

The Memphis Police Department has stations across the city of Memphis. All police officers with the department are dedicated to promoting public safety through community policing. All newly graduated police officers start in the Uniformed Patrol Division. Patrol officers maintain order by making arrests, directing traffic, investigating crimes, and serving warrants, among other tasks. Although the department calls its uniformed patrol the strength of the MPD, there are other units that work together in order to ensure public safety, including Harbor Patrol, Crime Scene Investigation, Organized Crime, and K-9.

Memphis Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

The minimum education requirements to be accepted to the Memphis Police Training Academy are a high school diploma or GED as well as an associate's degree or at least 54 credit hours at an accredited college or university. A candidate may substitute two years in the military with an honorable discharge for the college requirement. An applicant must also be a US citizen, have a valid driver's license, and be 21 years of age by the time he or she graduates the academy. There is a Shelby County residency requirement that must be fulfilled within six months of the hire date. In addition to these requirements, candidates must pass all stages of the hiring process.

Once conditionally hired, recruits will attend the police academy for approximately 21 weeks. The academy uses a combination of classroom instruction and physical training to prepare recruits to become effective police officers. Upon graduation from the academy, recruits are assigned to a Field Training Officer and will complete one year of field training and experience on probationary status. Those who perform well will be offered tenured positions as Memphis police officers.

Memphis Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 3,510 police and sheriff's patrol officers working in the greater Memphis area.2 The average salary for police officers in Memphis was $47,450 as of 2015.2 During police academy training, a new recruit can expect to draw an annual salary of $39,796; upon graduation and until the probation period is completed, recruits receive an annual salary of $42,582.1 The average first-year salary for sworn police officers in Memphis is $47,340.1 Officers with a bachelor's degree receive a 7.5% pay differential throughout their time in service.1 The Memphis Police Department offers all officers generous health and life insurance benefits as well as tuition reimbursement, paid time off, and pension and retirement plans.

Contact Information

Twitter: @MEM_PoliceDept

Memphis Police Department
201 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38103

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What types of Memphis Police Department jobs are available?

Answer: All recruits begin their time in service as patrol officers. After gaining experience in patrol, officers may apply to work in other units. Specialized units within the MPD include Economic Crimes, Homicide, Harbor Patrol, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Question: How long is Memphis police academy training?

Answer: The Memphis Police Training Academy curriculum involves 21 weeks of physical and academic instruction. After graduating from the academy, newly sworn officers continue to train and develop their skills during one year of field experience and instruction while under the supervision of an experienced Field Training Officer.

Question: What is the average salary for Memphis police officers?

Answer: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average police officer salary in Memphis was $47,450 as of 2015.2 After completing the probationary year, the starting salary for Memphis officers is $47,340 per year, with regular step increases thereafter.1 Officers with a bachelor's degree are eligible for a 7.5% salary differential above their base salary.1

1. Memphis Police Department:
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Memphis:

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