Phoenix Police Department Officer Requirements

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The Phoenix Police Department (PHXPD) consists of five major divisions. The officers of the Phoenix Police Department work to uphold the organization’s mission of ensuring safety and security for each individual in the Phoenix community. The department is currently focused on increasing its efforts on community policing through such programs as Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN) and the Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol (PNP).

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Steps to Becoming a PHXPD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Complete an application.
  3. Take a written test.
  4. Pass the physical agility assessment.
  5. Complete a background investigation and interview.
  6. Take a polygraph exam, psychological test, and medical examination.
  7. Pass a drug test for controlled substances.
  8. Complete police academy training at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.
  9. Begin working as a Phoenix patrol officer.

How to Become a Phoenix, Arizona Police Officer

To be eligible to join the Phoenix Police Department as an officer, candidates must meet the minimum eligibility standards outlined below. Those who qualify will undergo a rigorous selection and screening process, which starts with the submission of the online application and taking a written exam. Candidates must pass each step of the process to proceed to the next step. After passing the physical fitness exam, background check, polygraph exam, psychological screening, and medical exam, candidates will be invited to complete recruit officer training at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy (ALEA). After completing the police academy, recruits will be sworn in as Phoenix police officers.

Phoenix Police Officer Job Description

The life of a Phoenix police officer is about more than just arresting criminals. Police officers across the nation work hard each day to make citizens feel safe, and Phoenix police officers are no exception. After graduating from the police academy, all newly sworn officers must work for two years in patrol in one of the Patrol Division’s seven precincts. Patrol officers respond to service and emergency calls, enforce traffic and other laws, and investigate crimes. After two years of patrol work officers are eligible to apply for specialty duty in such divisions as violent crimes, drug enforcement, homeland defense, and tactical support.

Phoenix Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Educational Requirements

To be a police officer in Phoenix, candidates must be at least 21 years of age and a US citizen, meet visual acuity and physical fitness requirements, have a driver’s license with an acceptable driving record, and have a high school diploma or GED. Candidates must not have been convicted of any felony, and may be disqualified for certain misdemeanors. Applicants must also demonstrate consistent and responsible employment and financial histories. It is a competitive process and a relatively small number of applicants are accepted from each starting pool.

Accepted applicants will attend 20 weeks of training at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in Phoenix. The officer training program is based on tactical, physical, academic, and driving modules. Candidates are advised to begin a regular physical fitness routine prior to arriving at the academy to be prepared for the physical demands of the program. After graduation new recruits are assigned to patrol, where they complete additional field training.

Phoenix Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers in the Phoenix metro area made an average annual salary of $64,260 as of 2015.1 During academy training, recruits earn an annual salary of $47,798, which is raised to $51,480 upon promotion to the position of officer.2 Officers receive regular step increases up to a salary cap of $72,426 per year.2 However, earning promotion in rank or to special assignment can qualify officers for higher pay. Additionally, differential pay for bilingual abilities, night shifts and weekends, overtime, and other qualifying activities is available. Officers also receive a comprehensive benefits package, vacation leave, personal leave, and holiday pay.

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Contact Information

Twitter: @phoenixpolice

Police & Public Safety Building
620 West Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 262-6747

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Phoenix police salary schedule like?

    In addition to its base salary structure, the Phoenix Police Department offers multiple incentive programs that can raise an officer’s take-home pay. One unique incentive program is referred to as Career Enhancement Pay (CEP), which can lead to an increase of up to $7,612 per year.2 This program is based on a points schedule for training, skills, experience, and education.

  • What types of Phoenix police jobs are available?

    All new police officers in Phoenix must complete two years of patrol duty before becoming eligible for special assignment. However, those who qualify may pursue careers in specialty areas such as homeland defense, tactical support, violent crimes, or airport patrol.

  • Do I need a degree to become a police officer in Phoenix?

    While it is not required to have a college degree to become a police officer in Phoenix, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can set candidates apart from other applicants without a degree. Earning a degree can also lead to a higher salary based on the department’s education pay incentives.

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale:
2. Phoenix Police Department:

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