Answer: Those who do not have previous law enforcement or military experience typically need at least an associate’s degree plus work experience; a bachelor’s degree can also fulfill the education requirements. You can see a list of acceptable education and experience qualifications on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office website.
Jacksonville has a consolidated law enforcement agency, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), which services both the city of Jacksonville and the surrounding county of Duval; these are sometimes referred to together as the Consolidated City of Jacksonville. The JSO serves over 850,000 residents in the Jackson metropolitan area.1 Police officers working in the JSO’s Department of Police Services are expected to emphasize community engagement and trust-building with community members as they work to prevent and control crime in Jacksonville.
Steps to Becoming a JSO Officer
Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
Submit an online application.
Take the department’s physical ability test and written exam.
Take a polygraph exam.
Pass the background investigation.
Appear for an oral board interview.
Pass the medical exam, which includes a stress test and drug screen.
Take a psychological examination.
Complete police academy training.
Begin working as a sworn Jacksonville police officer.
How to Become a Jacksonville, Florida Police Officer
Police officers in Jacksonville work within the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The hiring process for a prospective Jacksonville police officer who meets the requirements below consists of a written skills test, physical ability test, polygraph examination, background investigation (including credit history, driving history, employment history, residence history, and criminal history), oral board interview, and psychological evaluation. There is also a medical test that includes a stress test and screening for drugs. Those who successfully pass the candidate evaluation process may be invited to complete police recruit training at the police academy.
Jacksonville Police Officer Job Description
Jacksonville police officers protect people and property in the city of Jacksonville. They do this by enforcing laws, including traffic codes, and assisting citizens in emergencies. After completing two years in patrol, officers can choose to stay in their zone or apply to move into one of the JSO’s specialized units, which include the Detective Division, Organized Crime, K-9 Unit, Mounted Unit, Marine Unit, Aviation Unit, SWAT Team, Dive Team, and Crime Scene Unit.
Jacksonville Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
To be considered for employment, prospective recruits must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 21 years of age and a US citizen, and have a Florida driver’s license. Candidates must also have an acceptable combination of education and experience, as outlined on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office website. Typically, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or an acceptable combination of active military or law enforcement experience with an associate’s degree. Applicants must possess good moral character, have a clean record, and be able to pass the physical fitness test.
After completing the hiring process, recruits complete paid training at the Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Center. The training program includes academic courses as well as tactical training. Credit from courses completed can be counted towards an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Graduates must also pass the State of Florida Law Enforcement Officer Certification Examination in order to become sworn officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Jacksonville Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2,810 police and sheriff’s patrol officers work in the Jacksonville metro area.1 The salary of a Jacksonville police officer follows a clear career path, with a starting salary between $36,240 and $38,144 annually for recruits.2 Recruits receive a 5% increase after completing training, with regular step increases up to $54,696 after six years and up to $62,476 after 17 years of service.2 A sergeant earns 17% more than an officer and a lieutenant earns 17% more than a sergeant.2 There are also pay premiums for shift differentials and education. Jacksonville police officers additionally receive vacation and holiday pay, comprehensive health benefits, and a retirement pension after 30 years of service.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
501 E Bay St
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a college degree to work for the Jacksonville PD as a police officer?
How do I apply to join the JSO?
Answer: Applications for both sworn officer and civilian support positions with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are found on the JoinJSO recruiting portal.
Does the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office accept lateral recruits for police positions?
Answer: Yes. The JSO will accept lateral applicants from other Florida jurisdictions as well as from out of state. For certification transfer information, contact the JSO.
1. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office: http://www.coj.net/departments/sheriffs-office.aspx
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Jacksonville: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_27260.htm
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