What are the Requirements for becoming a Police Officer in Tennessee?
A police officer’s job is one that is highly respected. The uniform and the stars would win respect from everyone. That’s the reason why becoming a police officer is a dream for many. To be a police officer one needs to be physically fit, mentally agile, and have the commitment to be a law enforcer.
In the State of Tennessee, police officers have a major responsibility in big cities like Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville. One can work as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or as a trooper in Tennessee and handle issues related to law enforcement.
Tennessee has a body known as POST – Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. This body is responsible for setting standards for recruitment and training of police in the state. Police officers at the county level are known as peace officers and hence the name. The requirements to be a police officer are fixed by POST.
Tennessee Police Academy Requirements
To be a police officer in Tennessee, the following are the eligibility requirements set by POST:
- The candidate should be 18 years of age.
- He/she should be a US citizen or a permanent resident with an honorable discharge from the military.
- The applicant should have a GED or high school diploma.
- Should have a clean police record with no felonies.
- Should be able to pass all the exams, including physical and psychological tests.
- He/she should have a good moral character that can be verified through a background check.
Procedure to be a police officer
Eligible candidates need to pass certain exams. This includes a background check, covering the criminal record. A physical exam needs to be undergone by a licensed medical practitioner.
A psychological test and evaluation are also needed. Apart from this, there would be a written exam that would test the reading, writing, and logic skills of the candidate. A physical agility test also needs to be undergone.
Candidates who complete all these requirements would be eligible to be a police officer. Each law enforcement unit may have additional requirements. On completion of this, one can be selected as a police officer and undergo training before commencing work.
In the state of Tennessee, the major cities like Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville have additional requirements to be a police officer. These include:
- The candidate must be 21 years of age.
- Should have a college degree with 54/60 credit hours or have a military or other work experience.
- Should have a driver’s license.
- Should not have drug or alcohol addiction history.
- Have normal eyesight and color vision.
- Military veterans are preferred in Nashville.
On completion of the POST requirements, there would be an interview to decide on the final selection. Once this is done, the selected candidates are sent to the police academy for training. The Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in Nashville provides training to police officers. The basic police school program is a 12-week course. Apart from this, there are other academies at Cleveland, Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville. Police officers can get an average salary of $40,000 per year.
Tennessee State Trooper
Troopers work in the state highways ensuring law and order in the highways. Apart from the other requirements, they need to 20/20 vision, should have normal color vision, and should not have tattoos that are visible. A trooper can earn around $38,000 per year.
Tennessee Deputy Sheriff
Counties in Tennessee appoint deputy sheriffs who work in the Sheriff’s office. To be a deputy sheriff, in most countries, the minimum age requirement is 21 years. Other requirements are as per the POST requirements. Deputies on an average can earn around $32,000 per year.