Answer: Applicants for sworn officer positions with the Kansas City PD must have a high school diploma or GED; a college degree is not required. However, the KCPD does offer incentive pay for officers with college degrees. Having a degree may also increase the opportunities available for career advancement.
The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department (KCPD) serves a population of over 465,000 people across a land area of approximately 319 square miles.1 The department has set the goal of making the Kansas City metropolitan area the safest community in the nation and partners with the community to control crime and achieve its mission. The department hosts a variety of regular community involvement programs including self-defense classes, college and career exploration programs, and neighborhood redevelopment initiatives.
Steps to Becoming a KCPD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete a preliminary application and substance abuse questionnaire.
- Pass the written exam.
- Pass the physical abilities test.
- Appear at the department for in-person completion of the formal application.
- Take a pre-employment polygraph exam.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Complete a full-shift ride-along with an experienced officer.
- Complete a panel interview with an oral board.
- Pass the psychological exam.
- Complete a medical and eye examination.
- Complete police academy training.
- Begin working as a sworn KCPD officer.
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How to Become a Kansas City, Missouri Police Officer
The Kansas City Police Department continually seeks diverse and well-qualified recruits to join the police force. The KCPD evaluates prospective recruits who meet the requirements listed below through a series of written, physical abilities, polygraph, and psychological examinations. All candidates are required to go on a ride-along with a seasoned Kansas City police officer during the screening process. A complete medical examination takes place once a candidate has received an employment offer. Accepted recruits complete between 28 and 30 weeks of training at the Kansas City Police Academy and, after gaining experience with the department, may be eligible for promotion to specialized units.
Kansas City Police Officer Job Description
Police officers with the KCPD are sworn to uphold the law and to protect the citizens and property in Kansas City, Missouri. Police officers are expected to have both integrity and strong moral character. Upon successful completion of the 28- to 30-week police academy training program, police officers are generally assigned to patrol a specific area and may have numerous responsibilities, including arresting offenders, directing traffic, answering service calls, and assisting community members. Experienced police officers may be eligible to apply for open positions in such specialized units as fraud, crimes against children, domestic violence, property crimes, and traffic enforcement.
Kansas City Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
To be considered for employment, prospective Kansas City police recruits must be at least 21 years of age upon graduation from the police academy, be a United States citizen, possess a high school diploma or GED, and be a resident of Kansas City by the time they complete the six-month probationary period. Applicants will be immediately disqualified for felony convictions, a history of drug abuse, a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the United States military, excessive traffic convictions, outstanding warrants, or misdemeanor convictions.
Candidates who complete the extensive application process and are conditionally hired must complete between 28 and 30 weeks of training at the Kansas City Police Academy. Days generally run from 7 AM to 4 PM and include intense physical activity in addition to academic instruction. The academy provides recruits with the majority of the necessary equipment. Following graduation from the academy, officers are considered probationary hires for the first six months of employment.
Kansas City Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Approximately 4,830 police officers work in the 12-county Kansas City metropolitan area, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 While in the police academy, recruits draw a monthly salary of $3,130.1 Following graduation and placement into the field as a probationary officer, the salary rises to $3,444 per month.1 The base pay after the probationary period is $43,404 per year.1 Officers receive scheduled pay increases and can also receive pay increases based on promotion to the supervisory ranks. In addition to a base salary, police officers with the Kansas City Police Department also receive a monthly clothing allowance, shift differential pay, overtime, call back pay, and paid non-duty court time. Educational pay incentives are also offered to police officers who hold at least an associate’s degree. The benefits package includes generous leave for holidays, vacation, and sick time as well as comprehensive life and health insurance.
Kansas City Police Department
414 E 12th St
Kansas City, MO 64106
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a college degree to work for the Kansas City, Missouri PD?
What job opportunities are there for "KCMO" police officers?
Answer: Though most Kansas City, Missouri police officers start out in patrol, qualified officers who perform well have opportunities to transfer to specialized units in such areas as tactical, interdiction, intelligence, bomb and arson, and vice.
How long does it take to be hired as a police officer in Kansas City?
Answer: Due to the thoroughness of the screening process, it often takes several months to complete the hiring process from the time of application to the start of the police academy. Recruits are paid at their starting salary beginning with the first day of police academy training.
1. Kansas City Police Department: http://kcmo.gov/police/careers-employment-section/careers-law-enforcement/careers-law-enforcement-salary-information/
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kansas City MO-KS: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28140.htm
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