What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Arkansas?
With a population which stands marginally in excess of 3 million inhabitants according to the census of 2018 and growing steadily, the state of Arkansas has a need for additional police officers in addition to the 6080 officers already in active service. This scenario makes working as a police officer in Arkansas an inviting destination.
However, there are certain mandated checks and measures in place which need to be fulfilled by aspiring individuals to land a job in the police force. So if you have it you to serve and protect and fulfill the laid down requirements, you could be well on your way to a fulfilling career as a police officer in Arkansas.
Mandated Prerequisites for Arkansas Police Officers:
The authority on establishing the prerequisites with regards to the desired qualification and standardized training is looked into by CLEST or the Commission on Law Enforcement and Training. This entity has set guidelines which every prospective candidate desiring to enter the Arkansas police force must fulfill.
However, it is worth mentioning, although not binding, that, candidates having college credits stand a better chance at being absorbed into the force and with better prospects at career growth. Listed below are some of the mandatory requirements for prospective candidates: -
- Citizenship: All prospective candidates who want to serve in the Arkansas police force must be a citizen of the United States.
- Age Bar: A prospective candidate should have attained the age of 21 years at the time of applying for the job.
- Educational Qualification: The minimum educational qualification as laid down by the CLEST stipulates that the prospective candidate should have graduated from high school or hold a GED.
- A valid driver’s License: Candidates wanting to join the Arkansas police force should possess a valid driver’s license which at any instance has not been revoked.
- Felony History: Prospective candidates should not have any history of a felony committed with regards to criminal acts, credit defaults or revoking of driving license.
- Background Investigation: The candidature of prospective candidates will be subject to close scrutiny.
- Compulsory testing: This civil service test is designed to ensure that police officers who are recruited by the Arkansas police force have high standards. The test consists of 100 questions which cover the candidates reading and comprehension ability, skills at observing and writing skills. The benchmark to pass this test is 70%.
- Physical Testing: The physical condition of the candidate is ascertained through this test in which a prospective candidate needs to complete a pre-determined set of physical activities against pre-set standards.
- Psychological Test: This test is designed to test the mental status of the candidate as well as to ascertain any drug addiction problems.
- Personal Interviews: Aspiring candidates will have to face a personal interview in two stages. The first stage involves being interviewed by officers from the department which will be followed by another interview with personnel from the Civil Service Commission.
Prospective candidates who clear all these tests will then become recruits to the Arkansas police department after which they will have to undergo a twelve-week training program at an approved police training academy of the state.
The training is aimed at equipping the recruit at investigating an accident, training in firearms, drug enforcement, laws relating to criminal activities, tactics used in defense and the nuances of writing reports. After graduating from the academy, recruits will then need to undergo field training with a senior officer and upon successfully completing the field training; recruits are then placed on probation.