Atlanta Police Department Officer Requirements

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The men and women of the Atlanta Police Department work to increase safety in Atlanta by reducing crime and building strong community relationships. The Atlanta PD's core values are professionalism, integrity, commitment, and courage, and all of the city's sworn officers are expected to uphold these principles. The uniformed patrol force of the city is housed within the Field Operations Division, which works together with other divisions such as Criminal Investigations and Strategy and Special Projects in order to control and prosecute crime.

Steps to Becoming an Atlanta PD Officer

  • Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).

  • Complete an online application.

  • Complete the department's written exam.

  • Pass a background check and drug test.

  • Pass the Physical Training test.

  • Pass the medical and psychological exams.

  • Complete an interview with department representatives.

  • Complete police academy training.

  • Begin working as a patrol officer with the Atlanta PD.

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    How to Become an Atlanta, Georgia Police Officer

    To become an Atlanta police officer, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements outlined below before beginning the multi-step selection process, which requires candidates to take written, physical agility, polygraph, medical, and psychological exams. All candidates must also submit to an extensive background investigation that probes into the candidate's financial, employment, criminal, and personal history. Accepted police recruits will complete 21 weeks of police academy training followed by an additional 12 weeks of field training. Police officers in Atlanta must typically serve in patrol for three years before becoming eligible for promotion to specialized units.

    Atlanta Police Officer Job Description

    The Atlanta Police Department patrols approximately 132 square miles and is responsible for protecting over 460,000 residents living within the city limits.1 For the first three years after graduating from the academy, police officers in Atlanta are generally assigned to patrol a specific area of the city, either on foot, bicycle, or in a marked police vehicle. After serving for three years in patrol, officers may be eligible for promotion to a specialized unit, such as school detectives, cyber crimes, the vice squad, criminal investigations, gangs and guns, or helicopter patrol. After five years of service, officers are eligible to apply for promotion to such positions as supervisor, investigator, or senior police officer/ field training officer.

    Atlanta Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

    A prospective Atlanta Police Department recruit must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age by graduation from the police academy, possess a high school diploma or a GED, hold a valid driver's license, and have had an honorable discharge, if a military veteran. Immediate disqualification occurs if an applicant has pending criminal or traffic charges, any history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, a suspended or a revoked driver's license, or deliberately omits or falsifies information during any stage of the application process.

    Police recruits will complete approximately 21 weeks of training with the Herbert T. Jenkins Atlanta Police Academy. The police academy includes defensive training, physical training, and firearms training in addition to academic instruction in the classroom. After the academy, newly sworn officers complete additional field training under the supervision of a field training officer.

    Atlanta Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

    Police officers in Atlanta earn an annual mean salary of $43,260, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a mean hourly wage of $20.61 and a median hourly wage of $20.80.2 During recruit training, officers earn an annual salary of $34,726, which is raised to a base salary of $39,327 after promotion to police officer.3 Atlanta police officers are eligible for a full range of benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, sick leave, and paid annual vacation and holidays. Tuition reimbursement and scholarships are also offered for qualifying courses of study.

    Contact Information

    Atlanta Police Department
    200 Spring St NW
    Atlanta, GA 30303

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much do Atlanta police officers make?

    Atlanta police officers draw an annual salary of $34,726 while training at the police academy; following graduation, the starting salary is $39,327 for sworn officers, with the potential for up to 10 annual increases to a maximum of $53,599 for an officer with a high school diploma.3 Officers with associate's or bachelor's degrees typically earn $1,500 to $2,500 more per year than officers with only a high school diploma or GED.3

    Is the Atlanta PD hiring?

    The Atlanta Police Department is continually seeking qualified officers who are ready to commit to serve the Atlanta community. For more information on the hiring process and requirements, visit

    What types of police jobs are available in Atlanta?

    While all Atlanta officers must serve at least three years in patrol before becoming eligible for transfer to special units, the Atlanta PD is committed to supporting ongoing officer development. The department offers tuition reimbursement and scholarships for college study as well as specialized training to help officers prepare for advanced law enforcement careers in such areas as homeland security, cyber crimes, and criminal investigations.

    1. US Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Atlanta:
    2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Atlanta:
    3. Atlanta Police Department:

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