How to Become a Police Officer in Arizona

The state of Arizona has a few restrictions regarding candidates that can be accepted to study at the available Police Academies, as well as continuing requirements for certified law enforcement agents. These regulations have been included in the R13-4-101 to R13-4-118 articles of the law formulated back in 1989, when the old ones were re-appealed.

The aforementioned articles refer to the medical examinations, psychological screenings, training (required to be admitted into the academy and to maintain the position of law enforcement officer) and education.

Let’s find out how to become a police officer in Arizona.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Arizona

  1. Must be a US citizen.
  2. At least 21 years old, the applicant may attend the academy if he/she will be 21 years old before graduation.
  3. Must have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED.
  4. Should pass a complete background investigation that meets the standards of R13-4-106.
  5. Must not be convicted of any felony offense.
Source: Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board

Admission to the Arizona Police Academy

In addition to the traditional requirements (meaning the US citizenship, 21 years of age, high school education, etc), a future cadet is required to subject himself to the extensive background testing.

In the state of Arizona, the requirements are stipulated in the 106 article of the R13-4 law. The key aspect to remember here is that fingerprinting is mandatory for all new recruits.

Furthermore, the 107th paragraph of the aforementioned law concerns medical examinations and mandates that it should be performed no longer than 1 year prior to the appointment. However, it is necessary to point out that certain law enforcement agencies in Arizona require that the examination should not be performed any later than 180 days.

On the other hand, a certificate attesting that state of health for the applicant has not modified from the time of the medical screening can override this specification.

Felonies and Drug Usage

Felonies (as regarded by the general United States or the state of Arizona in particular) will kill a candidate’s chances from the start.

In regards to drug usage, Arizona is more flexible than other states concerning marijuana, as their requirements stipulate the candidate may have used this narcotic within a time frame of 3 years from the application.

The board is somewhat forgiving regarding the usage of marijuana for experimentation, but in order to determine this attenuating factor they will consider the duration, frequency and motivation of the user.

However, candidates that cultivate, sell or abuse this plant will be declined. The same thing goes for the more dangerous and powerful drug consumption or distribution.

Disqualifying Medical Conditions

As far as the medical prerequisites for the peace officers of Arizona are concerned, the personnel performing the testing will split the candidates into three categories.

While the candidates in the first category do not suffer from any medical condition that could impede them from performing their duties properly, the ones in the second and third categories are more likely to be rejected.

However, agencies that are keen on hiring an individual with one of the conditions stipulated in the second and third categories can submit a special request to the board explaining their motivations in order to obtain an appeal.

To summarize disqualifying medical conditions categories include:

  • Respiratory issues such as angina or asthma
  • Cardiac problems, including, arrhythmia, heart murmur or valvular disease
  • Muscular or joint problems, such as, paralysis, scoliosis above 15 degrees, hernia or joint fixations
  • Other major organ failures

In respect of the visual acuity, the state of Arizona board mandates that corrected vision of 20/20 is necessary and that uncorrected vision issues should be no less than 20/200. At the same time, the audio acuity examination should not indicate a hearing loss over 25 decibels.

Academy Training and the Graduation Requirements

Cadets, meaning candidates to a police academy that have lucratively met the aforementioned selections criteria, can enroll in the learning program specified by the department of their choice. In Arizona, graduation from the academy and becoming attested by the Board requires 585 training hours and passing the CFE exam.

To summarize, the mandatory courses include but are not limited to:

  • The introductory part of basic law enforcement (criminal justice, history, services, management, ethics, etc.)
  • The legal matters of the profession (rules regarding arrest procedures, evidence preserving, searches, etc.)
  • Procedures regarding patrol duty (methodology of solving domestic violence, hazardous substances, disputes, mental condition cases, etc.)
  • Traffic control methodology
  • Handling the crime scene
  • Police proficiency skills

In respect of the CFE test necessary to obtain the graduation, it includes multiple-choice answers and is structured in three blocks. In order to pass this exam, candidates need to obtain a score of at least 70 percent for each individual block.

Failure on one of the blocks mandates that a candidate is allowed to take the CFE test once again within the timeframe remaining until graduation. However, a second failure or the expiration of the timeframe means the candidate is required to take the whole 585 hour courses once more in order to be eligible for the CFE test.

Successfully passing the CFE test means the cadet can be hired by a peace officer agency and start his probationary period. In short, these are the basic rules on how to become a police officer in Arizona.

For more information on how to become a police officer in Arizona, please call 602.223.2514 or visit the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board website.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Arizona.

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