Nashville Police Department Officer Requirements

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) protects and serves the Nashville metro. The department employs over 1,900 men and women in support of its mission.1 Community-based policing is a major focus area for the department, which participates in and supports over 560 neighborhood watch and business groups in Nashville’s numerous and diverse neighborhoods.1

Steps to Becoming a MNPD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Complete an online application.
  3. Pass the civil service exam.
  4. Appear for a panel interview.
  5. Pass the physical agility test.
  6. Complete the background investigation.
  7. Pass the medical exam and drug test.
  8. Pass the psychological assessment and computer voice stress analysis.
  9. Accept appointment as a Police Officer Trainee, which may involve working in a support role prior to completing recruit training.
  10. Complete police academy training.
  11. Complete six months as a probationary officer.
  12. Begin working as a qualified MNPD police officer.

How to Become a Nashville, Tennessee Police Officer

Those who meet the minimum requirements for Nashville police officers outlined below must first apply to the department. While it is not required, it is recommended that applicants next attend an orientation session to learn more about the hiring process and expectations before beginning the testing phase. Applicants accepted to the next stage are invited to complete a civil service examination. Outstanding applicants then complete a panel interview, physical agility test, and background investigation. Top-scoring candidates will next complete a medical screening and psychological assessment. Candidates who excel will be offered roles as Police Officer Trainees. Trainees may be employed in support positions performing non-enforcement duties while awaiting a start date at the police training academy.

Nashville Police Officer Job Description

Nashville police patrol metropolitan Nashville to protect the lives and property of citizens. Typically, new officers are assigned to a patrol unit. Patrol assignments include routine law enforcement duties such as traffic enforcement, community policing, and detaining and arresting suspects. Special law enforcement departments within the MNPD include tactical operations, emergency contingencies, SWAT and negotiation, traffic and school crossing, and bicycle and horse patrol.

Nashville Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

To become a police officer in Nashville, candidates must have at least 60 credit hours of college coursework with a GPA of at least 2.0 or two years of active law enforcement or military service with a high school diploma or GED. Candidates must also be 21 years of age and a US citizen, have a valid driver's license, and have no history of criminal convictions. Prospective officers must pass each stage of the selection process to be considered for employment.

Recruits accepted to the Memphis Police Training Academy must complete 950 contact hours, or approximately 22 weeks, of basic police training. This training includes academic and physical preparation for police work and is followed by a probationary six-month field training period at the rank of Police Officer I. Following promotion to the rank of Police Officer II, officers receive 40 hours of in-service continuing instruction each year.

Nashville Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nashville police officers make an average annual salary of $46,420.2 About 3,380 officers work in the greater Nashville metro.2 During the police academy, officer trainees receive an annual salary of $38,541.1 New police officers with the Nashville Police Department receive a starting annual base salary of $42,827, with education incentives of up to 6% for a bachelor's degree.1 Officers also receive a benefits package that includes health and life insurance, overtime and longevity pay, and generous paid time off.

Contact Information

Twitter: @mnpdnashville

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
200 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37201

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the average police officer salary in Nashville?

Answer: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average salary of Nashville police officers at $46,420 per year.2 However, well-qualified officers typically earn higher salaries; for example, an officer at the rank of Police Officer II with a bachelor’s degree earns a base salary of $50,281 per year.1

Question: Is the MNPD hiring?

Answer: The MNPD recruits qualified officer trainees on an as-needed basis. To see if the department is currently accepting applications, check the MNPD’s page on

Question: Do you need a degree to become a police officer in Nashville?

Answer: The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department requires that prospective officers have either 60 credit hours of college coursework or two years of military service with an honorable discharge. The department offers pay incentives to officers who have completed a degree; currently, the incentive is 3% of an officer’s base pay for an associate’s degree and 6% of an officer’s base pay for a bachelor’s degree.1

1. Nashville Police Department:
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin:

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